Clearing A Space - Reflections on India, Literature and Culture

Clearing A Space - Reflections on India, Literature and Culture

Product ID: 24638

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Author: Amit Chaudhuri
Publisher: Black Kite
Year: 2008
Language: English
Pages: 330
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8178242370


To the many admirers of his fiction, Amit Chaudhuri seems all the more remarkable because of the excellence and accessibility of his non-fiction. Clearing a Space brings together many of Chaudhuri’s best essays, written over the past decade in journals such as the London Review of Books and the Times Literary Supplement. This body of his work has been widely praised and reveals a literary project of great value in understanding India and global modernity.

Often beginning with the personal, Chaudhuri enquires into the nature of the secular in India, into the history of such categories as the West, the foreign, the global, and the exotic, and into the frequently torn and self-divided nature of modern Indian identity. Indian popular culture and high culture, travel and location in Paris, Bombai, Dublin, Calcutta, and New York, empire and nationalism, music, Hollywood and Bollywood, and the place of the everyday in creativity are some of the subjects fascinatingly written about in this book.

Chaudhuri also makes a powerful case for thinking about Indian literature and culture in a way that departs strikingly from the parameters created since the publication of Midnight’s Children and the consolidation of postcolonial studies. While his mode is broadly oppositional, it is also one of constant engagement with the positions he is arguing against.

This book will consolidate Amit Chaudhuri’s already considerable reputation as a writer who communicates with large audiences because of the elegance of his prose and the persuasiveness of his ideas.


Introduction: On Clearing a Space

Towards a Poetics of the India Modern
Poles of Recovery
In the Waiting-Room of History: On Provincialzing Europe
The Flute of Modernity: Tagore and the Middle Class
The East as a Career: On ‘Strangeness’ in India Writing
Argufying: On Amartya Sen and the Deferral of an Indian Modernity
This is Not Music: The Emergence of the Domain of ‘Culture’
‘Huge Baggy Monster’: Mimetic Theories of the Indian Novel after Rushdie
Two Giant Brothers: Tagore’s Revisionist ‘Orient’
Travels in the Subculture of Modernity
Thoughts in a Temple: Hinduism in the Free Market
On the Nature of Indian Gothic: The Imagination of Ashis Nandy
‘Hollywood aur Bollywood’
The View from Malabar Hill
Stories of Domicile
Notes on the Novel after Globalization

Alternative Traditions, Alternative Readings
Arun Kolatkar and Tradition of Loitering
Learning to Write: V.S. Naipaul, Vernacular Artist
A Bottle of Ink, a Pen and a Blotter: On R.K.Narayan
‘A Feather! A Very Feather upon the Face!’: On Kipling
Returning to Earth: The Poetry of Jibanananda Das
Women in Love as Post-Human Essay
Champion of Hide and Seek: Raj Kamal Jha’s Surrealism
Midnight at Marble Arch: On the Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid
Beyond ‘Confidence’: Rushdie and the Creation Myth of India English Writing