This chapter examines the discourse on light and shadow in two paintings of
scholars by Ravi Varma that use chiaroscuro to depict men reading within the
interiors of a westernised home. Ravi Varma uses the symbolic qualities of
light and shadow to produce private interior spaces, in this case an
imagined inner world, where the Nayar matrilineal tharavad (household) is
transformed into an intimate space for the cultivation of the (male) self.
In step with the contemporary Malayalam novel, the paintings identify the
domestic interior as a stage upon which a private life is imagined, where
personal space and reflection are brought together to convey an interiority
that one typically associates with the bourgeois modern subject. The chapter
evaluates how the interior figured in domestic architecture and family life,
its implications for gender and social relations and, finally, how a new
idea of home emerged in tandem with a territorial imagination fuelled by the
new possibilities of travel in late nineteenth-century Kerala. It argues
that chiaroscuro emerges as an effective visual device to produce the
fictions of the self-reflective autonomous self, with the light and darks
suggesting hidden interiorities and buried subjectivities.
In this chapter, the author, through a family history, speaks of how forced exile persists through generations. He narrates the series of events that took place after he left England and moved to United States, including the catastrophic failures of nuclear reactors. The discussion largely focuses on the incidence of cancers caused by exposure to radioactivity in England, and the impact it had on Anglo-American relations. The author also showcases the differences between English and American cultures.
In this chapter, the author discusses the cultural life in Rochester, New York, in the 1920s. The city of the 1920s is often referred to as 'Mr Eastman's town'. Economically, the first three decades of the twentieth century had been described as Rochester's golden age, and the centrality of Eastman-Kodak to the city's prosperity had important cultural consequences. The establishment by George Eastman of the Eastman School of Music and the Eastman Theatre in 1922 was the single most important event marking the 'end of provincialism'. The 'Rochester Renaissance' owed a lot to Eastman's wealth and philanthropy .
In this chapter, the author explains the internment of aliens in Britain during the Second World War. The 'internment of aliens' is a peculiar and rather hysterical measure taken by the British government after Dunkirk. The author describes his father as an alien. He is alien to Britain and to English culture. He came to Britain from Germany in February 1938, was a class C 'enemy alien' (recognised as a genuine refugee, and officially designated a 'friendly' enemy alien). The classifications were made by wartime tribunals set up in Britain in 1939.