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Reading India in a Transnational Era
The Works of Raja Rao




ISBN 9781138550292
Published August 13, 2021 by Routledge India
256 Pages

 
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Book Description

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 In addition to highlighting Rao’s significant presence in Indian writing, the volume presents a range of previously unpublished material which contextualises Rao’s work within 20th-century modernist, postmodernist, and postcolonial trends.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.

Table of Contents

Introduction

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

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Editor(s)

Biography

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).