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Whose Amnesia? Literary Modernity in Multilingual South Asia

Orsini, Francesca (2015) 'Whose Amnesia? Literary Modernity in Multilingual South Asia.' The Cambridge Journal of Postcolonial Literary Inquiry, 2 (02). pp. 266-272.

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Abstract

The debate over the impact of British colonialism and “colonial modernity” in India has hinged around questions of epistemic and aesthetic rupture. Whether in modern poetry, art, music, in practically every language and region intellectuals struggled with the artistic traditions they had inherited and condemned them as decadent and artificial. But this is only part of the story. If we widen the lens a little and consider print culture and orature more broadly, vibrant regional print and performance cultures in a variety of Indian languages, and the publishing of earlier knowledge and aesthetic traditions belie the notion that English made India into a province of Europe, peripheral to London as the centre of world literature. Yet nothing of this new fervour of journals, associations, literary debates, of new genres or theatre and popular publishing, transpires in Anglo-Indian and English journals of the period, whose occlusion of the Indian-language stories produced ignorance, distaste, indifference— those “technologies of recognition” (Shu-Mei Shih) that produce “the West” as the agent of recognition and “the rest” as the object of recognition, in representation”.

Item Type: Articles
SOAS Departments & Centres: Faculty of Languages and Cultures > Department of the Languages and Cultures of South Asia
ISSN: 20522614
DOI (Digital Object Identifier): 10.1017/pli.2015.17
Depositing User: Francesca Orsini
Date Deposited: 02 Mar 2016 12:17
URI: http://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/22089

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