Love Is Not a Word: The Culture and Politics of Desire

Love Is Not a Word: The Culture and Politics of Desire

by Debotri Dhar


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'Love: more than pursuit, less than perfection,' writes Debotri Dhar in her

introduction to this book, and reminds us that love/desire is as much art as

accident, and as full of light and clarity as it is of darkness and confusion. In

the twelve essays that comprise this thoroughly engaging, eclectic collection,

scholars, critics, storytellers and journalists examine some of the myriad aspects

of this emotion-its 'complexities, in-betweenness'; its 'being and becoming'.

In the opening essays, we get a historical and cultural perspective on

'traditional love' through discussions of 'swayamvara, arranged marriages, and

desi romance'; ruminations on the immortal love of Radha and Krishna; and

the story of a sexually desiring and desired courtesan or nagarvadhu. In the

essays that follow, the politics of love is discussed and debated from a variety

of angles: from the love jihad campaign against inter-religious marriage, to a

critique of the savarna gaze in Indian cultural iconography and its meaning for

inter-caste love; from India's legal battle to decriminalize same-sex love, to

the subversive threat in single women's self-love.

The book also includes intriguing and exquisite portrayals of love in

literature-from Urdu shayari and the barahmasa (songs of longing for the

twelve months of the year), to the city fictions of love through Rome, Sydney,

Buenos Aires, Istanbul and Delhi.

With essays by some of the most distinctive writers of our time, this

delightful, wide-ranging volume certainly suggests that love is not just a word.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9789389958324
Publisher: Speaking Tiger Publishing Pvt Ltd
Publication date: 08/01/2020
Pages: 234
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.49(d)

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