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Srivastava, Sanjay (2013) 'Thrilling Affects: Sexuality, Masculinity, the City and “Indian Traditions” in the Contemporary Hindi “Detective” Novel.' Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies, 15 (4). pp. 567-585.

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This essay investigates the sexual cultures of contemporary Hindi-language ‘detective’ novels by focusing on the writings of one of India's biggest-selling authors, Ved Prakash Sharma. Sharma's novels are usually available at railway stations and bus stands, as well as bookstalls in the poorer localities of north Indian cities. The essay suggests that the sexual motif in the novels sits alongside an unstated discourse of ‘Indian traditions’ – such as brahmcharya (celibacy) and ‘the stable Indian family’ – and that this discourse is established both through narratives within the novels, as well as techniques that lie outside them, such as the author's letter to readers that prefaces each novel. The silent presence of ‘Indian traditions’ forms the ground upon which engagements with consumerist modernity – marked by goods, technologies and transnational connections – is predicated. The pleasure and ‘efficaciousness’ of the novels lie in the constant relay of choices between the world of globalized consumerist modernity and ‘traditional’ morality.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Family, Indian detective novels, sexuality, Sharma, Ved Prakash, urban cultures
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of Anthropology & Sociology
ISSN: 1369801X
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2022 17:02

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