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In Quest of Indian Folktales: Pandit Ram Gharib Chaube and William Crooke
     

In Quest of Indian Folktales: Pandit Ram Gharib Chaube and William Crooke

by Sadhana Naithani
 

"[A] rare piece of scholarly detective work." -- Margaret
Mills, Ohio State University

In Quest of Indian Folktales
publishes for the first time a collection of northern Indian folktales from the late
19th century. Reputedly the work of William Crooke, a well-known folklorist and
British colonial official, the tales were actually collected,

Overview

"[A] rare piece of scholarly detective work." -- Margaret
Mills, Ohio State University

In Quest of Indian Folktales
publishes for the first time a collection of northern Indian folktales from the late
19th century. Reputedly the work of William Crooke, a well-known folklorist and
British colonial official, the tales were actually collected, selected, and
translated by a certain Pandit Ram Gharib Chaube. In 1996, Sadhana Naithani
discovered this unpublished collection in the archive of the Folklore Society,
London. Since then, she has uncovered the identity of the mysterious Chaube and the
details of his collaboration with the famous folklorist. In an extensive
four-chapter introduction, Naithani describes Chaube's relationship to Crooke and
the essential role he played in Crooke's work, as both a native informant and a
trained scholar. By unearthing the fragmented story of Chaube's life, Naithani gives
voice to a new identity of an Indian folklore scholar in colonial India. The
publication of these tales and the discovery of Chaube's role in their collection
reveal the complexity of the colonial intellectual world and problematize our own
views of folklore in a postcolonial world.

Editorial Reviews

Choice
"A useful contribution to postcolonial and Indianist studies and to folklore.... Recommended." —Choice

W. B. McCarthy
The discovery of an unknown manuscript led to the publication of this book. Naithani (Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi) found these Indian folktales, many Muslim, in the archives of the Folklore Society in London. The depositor of the manuscript, William Crooke, was an important early, 20th-century scholar of Indian folklore, and the apparent compiler/translator, Pandit Ram Gharib Chaube, was largely unknown. Intrigued, Naithani sought to clarify the relationship between these two folklorists, who had identical degrees from Irish and Indian colonial universities. Her search raised some additional questions, but her discoveries suggests that the two men shared intense, respectful mutual interest in folk materials but could not bridge in their wider lives the social gaps that separated them. To say, however, that Crooke exploited Chaube is simplistic. Publication of this manuscript was worth the wait. The longer märchen-like (marchen-like) stories are sometimes compressed and hard to follow, but the shorter fables and wisdom tales are wonderfully ironic. And a surprising number of tales feature strong women. The book has a skimpy glossary but a complete tale-type index. A useful contribution to postcolonial and Indianist studies and to folklore. Summing Up: Recommended. All readers; all levels.W. B. McCarthy, emeritus, Pennsylvania State University, DuBois Campus, CHOICE, Feb. 2007

Margaret Mills
"[A] rare piece of scholarly detective work." —Margaret Mills, Ohio State University

From the Publisher
The discovery of an unknown manuscript led to the publication of this book. Naithani (Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi) found these Indian folktales, many Muslim, in the archives of the Folklore Society in London. The depositor of the manuscript, William Crooke, was an important early, 20th-century scholar of Indian folklore, and the apparent compiler/translator, Pandit Ram Gharib Chaube, was largely unknown. Intrigued, Naithani sought to clarify the relationship between these two folklorists, who had identical degrees from Irish and Indian colonial universities. Her search raised some additional questions, but her discoveries suggests that the two men shared intense, respectful mutual interest in folk materials but could not bridge in their wider lives the social gaps that separated them. To say, however, that Crooke exploited Chaube is simplistic. Publication of this manuscript was worth the wait. The longer märchen-like (marchen-like) stories are sometimes compressed and hard to follow, but the shorter fables and wisdom tales are wonderfully ironic. And a surprising number of tales feature strong women. The book has a skimpy glossary but a complete tale-type index. A useful contribution to postcolonial and Indianist studies and to folklore. Summing Up: Recommended. All readers; all levels.W. B. McCarthy, emeritus, Pennsylvania State University, DuBois Campus, CHOICE, Feb. 2007

"[A]n important contribution to folklore scholarship focusing on colonial and post-colonial discourses. This highly stimulating and engaging book will be of great interest to specialized scholars as well as general readers interested in folktales from Northern India." —Indian Folklore Research Journal

"[A] rare piece of scholarly detective work." —Margaret Mills, Ohio State University

"A useful contribution to postcolonial and Indianist studies and to folklore.... Recommended." —Choice

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780253112026
Publisher:
Indiana University Press
Publication date:
05/21/2006
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
344
File size:
4 MB

Meet the Author

Sadhana Naithani is Assistant Professor of Language, Literature and
Culture Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

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