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Author: John Thieme

R. K. Narayan's reputation as one of the founding figures of Indian writing in English is re-examined in this comprehensive study of his fiction. Arguing against views that have seen Narayan as a chronicler of authentic ‘Indianness’, the book locates his fiction in terms of specific South Indian contexts, cultural geography and non-Indian intertexts. It draws on recent thinking about the ways places are constructed to demonstrate that Malgudi is always a fractured and transitional site – an interface between older conceptions and contemporary views which stress the inescapability of change in the face of modernity. Offering fresh insights into the influences that went into the making of Narayan's fiction, this is a wide-ranging guide to his novels to date.

Open Access (free)
Peter Morey

the bewildering array of cultural translations which migrants must make.’42 When one comes to Indian literature, however, there has been, in recent years, increasing controversy over the perceived privileging of Indian writing in English, and especially of the diaspora, over more ‘indigenous’ literatures from the subcontinent. The work of writers who have chosen to remain domiciled in India is, it is claimed, overlooked in favour of a fetishised migrant aesthetic, which casts a cold and often critical eye over Morey_Mistry_01_Chap 1 18 9/6/04, 4:06 pm Contexts

in Rohinton Mistry
Louis James

asked to edit the first published book of essays on West Indian writing, I recommended that Brathwaite should be a contributor. But his enthusiasm for Caribbean folk culture had made his name anathema in the English Department. A Jamaican colleague protested against the idea so vehemently that I dropped the proposal, a decision I was bitterly to regret. The seed ideas of what was to become CAM were germinating in

in West Indian intellectuals in Britain
Abstract only
Andrew Teverson

hostile responses to Rushdie’s use of English coming out of India today are focused not upon the problems of its British imperial heritage but upon the privileges accrued, and the compromises made, by the Indian writer who abandons the ‘vernacular’ in order to write in the language of global power. Some of these criticisms are summarised by Rushdie himself in his introduction to the volume of writing he co-edited with his then partner Elizabeth West, The Vintage Book of Indian Writing in English (also published in a slightly different form in the New Yorker ). In

in Salman Rushdie
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Literary criticism and the colonial public
Christopher Hilliard

as to make them more in tune with Scrutiny values. He launched a journal, the Literary Criterion , to which Leavis contributed an essay. Narasimhaiah resorted to Leavis’s critical idiom, and worked outward from – or worked around – his presuppositions in his own explorations of Indian writing in English. 59 The conference did not quite live up to its Leavisian title. Critics offered readings of

in The cultural construction of the British world
Robin Jared Lewis

Kipling story. I could never make up my mind whether Kipling had moulded his characters accurately in the image of Anglo-Indian society, or whether we were moulding our characters accurately in the image of a Kipling story 3 The third and final period of Anglo-Indian writing can be called the ‘era of doubt and

in Asia in Western fiction
Black Power and the transformation of the Caribbean Artists Movement
Rob Waters

’s Contribution to the Development of Caribbean Literature’, Kunapipi , 20:1 (1998), 11–20. 4 George Padmore Institute, London (hereafter GPI), CAM/4/2/9, paper delivered at the University of Kent by H. Swanzy, ‘West Indian Writing – A Proletarian View’, 1968

in Cultures of decolonisation
John Thieme

accustomed to, what we know from experience or from report.5 Similarly, in a passage which uses a Gandhian analogy to suggest the extent to which Narayan’s language functions as a means for articulating a local subjectivity through an imported medium, K.R. Srinivasa Iyengar, author of a ground-breaking history of Indian writing in English, says: He is of India, even of South India: he uses the English language much as we used to wear dhoties [sic] manufactured in Lancashire – but the thoughts and feelings, the stirrings of the mind, the wayward movements of the

in R.K. Narayan
Open Access (free)
Where postcolonialism is neo-orientalist – the cases of Sarojini Naidu and Arundhati Roy
Elleke Boehmer

, when read alongside Gosse, untypical. Indeed, theirs are terms, I want to suggest, which repeat themselves across the twentieth century, and up to the present time, in western readings of foreign, especially perhaps Indian, writing. It is possible to find in recent criticism of postcolonial work a configuration of cultural differences between west and east, or north and south – between ‘village bells’ and bazaar cries – that remains not entirely dissimilar from that with which Gosse and Symons were working.11 In sometimes imperceptible ways, the past of colonial

in Stories of women
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Margaret Harkness on conjectural history and utilitarian philosophy
Lisa C. Robertson

relationship between individual experience, cultural practice, and social institutions, just as she does in her writing more broadly. Acknowledgements This research and the writing of this chapter have benefited from the helpful recommendations and generous commentary of Terry Elkiss, Flore Janssen, Sarah Knor, and Andrew Whitehead. 214 Harkness on conjectural history Notes 1 Like many of her contemporaries, Harkness makes no fixed distinction in her usage of the terms ‘English’ and ‘British’ in her Indian writing. However, the latter is most often used to refer to

in Margaret Harkness