1st Edition

Reading India in a Transnational Era The Works of Raja Rao

Edited By Rumina Sethi, Letizia Alterno Copyright 2022
    256 Pages
    by Routledge India

    256 Pages
    by Routledge India

    This anthology demonstrates the significance of Raja Rao’s writing in the broader spectrum of anti-colonial, postcolonial, and diasporic writing in the 20th century. In addition to highlighting Rao’s significant presence in Indian writing, the volume presents a range of previously unpublished material which contextualises Rao’s work within 20th-century modernist, postmodernist, and postcolonial trends. Exploring both his fictional and non-fictional works, Reading India in a Transnational Era engages with issues of subaltern agency and national belonging, authenticity, subjectivity, internationalism, multicultural politics, postcolonialism, and literary and cultural representation through language and translation.

    A literary volume that discusses gender and identity on both socio-political grounds, apart from dealing with Rao’s linguistic experimentations in a transnational era, will be of interest among scholars and researchers of English, postcolonial and world literature, cultural theory, and Asian studies.


    Rumina Sethi and Letizia Alterno


    Part I: Re-routing Raja Rao’s Politics, National Identity and Postcolonial Criticism

    1. The Lure of Monarchy in the Pursuit of Truth: Raja Rao’s Royalism in The Serpent and the Rope

    Alastair Niven

    2.  From National to Metaphysical: Raja Rao’s Idea of India in a Transnational Era

    Rumina Sethi

    3.  Resisting the British Empire: Raja Rao’s Two Political Anthologies Changing India and Whither India?

    Letizia Alterno

    4. Threads of Identity: Caste, Clothing and Community in Raja Rao’s Kanthapura

    Rahul K. Gairola

    5. The Cat and Shakespeare, the Problem of the Ego-Self, and the Vagaries of Literary Reputation

    John C. Hawley


    Part II: Philosophy, Aesthetics, Gender, and the Novel

    6. Comrade Kirillov: ‘A New Novel’ Newly Understood

    Paul Sharrad

    7. Women and the Narrative of Nationalism in Raja Rao’s The Cow of the Barricades

    Sakoon Singh

    8. Posthumanism in Raja Rao’s The Cat and Shakespeare: Redrawing the Boundaries

    Chitra Sankaran

    9. The Cat and the Chessmaster: Deconstructing ‘Play’ in Two Novels by Raja Rao

    Janet M. Powers

    10. The Unknown Quantity: Mathematics and Metaphysics in Raja Rao’s The Chessmaster and His Moves

    Neelum Saran Gour


    Part III: Multicultural Politics, Habitat and Translation

    11. ‘I Am Not Gandhi’: Kanthapura and the Problem of Allegory

    Ulka Anjaria

    12. Nature and Landscape: An Evolutionary Psychological Analysis of Raja Rao’s Writing

    Dieter Riemenschneider

    13. Search in Confusion: Reading Transnational Friendships in Raja Rao’s Kanthapura and Ahmed Ali’s Twilight in Delhi

    Waseem Anwar and Farah Fatima

    14. On Translating Raja Rao in the Transnational Era

    Alessandro Monti


    Part IV: Reminiscences

    Raja Rao at his Bed Table

    Susan Raja Rao


    Raja Rao: The Untold Story

    Makarand R. Paranjape


    Poem (for Raja Rao): Krishna

    Edwin Thumboo


    Afterword by Vijay Mishra


    Rumina Sethi, Professor of English and Cultural Studies at Panjab University, Chandigarh, is a member of the General Council of the Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi. She obtained her PhD from Trinity College, Cambridge, and held the British Academy Fellowship at the University of Oxford. Her books include Myths of the Nation (1999) and The Politics of Postcolonialism (2011).

    Letizia Alterno, Teaching Fellow of Advance HE, is Honorary Research Fellow in Postcolonial Studies at the University of Manchester, UK. She has authored the monograph Raja Rao: An Introduction for the Contemporary Indian Writers Series (2011), Rao’s obituary in The Guardian (2006) and an article on his legacy in The Times of India (2010).