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Print and Pleasure: Popular literature and entertaining fictions in colonial north India

Orsini, Francesca (2009) Print and Pleasure: Popular literature and entertaining fictions in colonial north India. New Delhi: Permanent Black.

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Abstract

"Print and Pleasure tells the story behind the boom in commercial publishing in nineteenth-century North India. How did the new technology of printing and the enterprise of Indian publishers make the book a familiar object and a necessary part of people's leisure in a largely illiterate society? What genres became popular in print? Who read them and how were they read? Our perception of North Indian culture in this period has been dominated by the notion of a competition between Hindi and Urdu, and the growth of language nationalism. Print and Pleasure argues that many other forces were also at work which, in the pursuit of commercial interests, spread quite different and much more hybrid tastes. This book shows, moreover, that book history can greatly enrich our understanding of literary and cultural history, and argues that popular songbooks, theatre transcripts, meanderingly serialized narratives, flimsily published tales, and forgotten poems are as much a part of colonial history as the elite novels and highbrow journals that are more frequently the subject of historical studies.

Item Type: Authored Books
Keywords: Hindi, Urdu, book history, popular literature
SOAS Departments & Centres: Faculty of Languages and Cultures > Department of the Languages and Cultures of South Asia
ISBN: 8178242494
Depositing User: Francesca Orsini
Date Deposited: 18 May 2010 08:50
URI: http://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/8572

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