Writing India, Writing English: Literature, Language, Location

Writing India, Writing English: Literature, Language, Location

by G. J. V. Prasad


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The essays in this book look at the interaction between English and other Indian languages and focus on the pressure of languages on writers and on each other. Divided into two parts, the first part of the book deals with the pressure that English language has exerted, and continues to exert, in India and our ideas of connectedness as a nation in the ways in which we deal with this pressure. The essays emphasise on the emergence of the hybrid language in the Tamil cultural world because of the presence of English (and Hindi); on the politics of ‘anthologisation’; and how Karnad’s Tughlaq deals with the idea of the nation, looking at its historical location. The second part of the book focuses on Indian English literature and deals with how it interacts with the idea of representing the Indian nation, sometimes obsessively, seen both in poetry and novels. The book argues that the writer’s location is crucial to the world of imagination, whether in the novel, poetry or drama. The world is inflected by the location of the author, and the struggle between the language dominant in that location and English is part of the creative tension that provides energy and uniqueness to writing.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781138663893
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Publication date: 01/20/2016
Pages: 190
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.41(d)

About the Author

G. J. V. Prasad is Professor of English at the Centre for English Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

Table of Contents

Preface ix

Acknowledgements xiii

Part I India, English, Translation

1 A Minute Stretching into Centuries: Macaulay, English and India 3

2 Translating Dalit Tamil Literature into English 24

3 Tamil, Hindi, English: The New Ménage à Trois 32

4 Trans-creating India(s): The Nation in English Translation 50

5 Karnad, Tughlaq, India 58

Part II Indian English Literature and the Nation

6 Writing India, Writing English 75

7 Romance in the West: Toru Dutt, the Novelist 93

8 'Food for Thought': The Tamil World of R. K. Narayan 103

9 Always in the Poet's Eye: Nissim Ezekiel's India 125

10 India in Verse: The Indian English Nation 136

11 Terrifying Tarn: The Angst of the Family 156

Bibliography 166

About the Author 171

Index 172

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