Mastering Western Texts - Essays on Literature and Society

Mastering Western Texts - Essays on Literature and Society

Product ID: 12244

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Author: Sambudha Sen
Editor(s): Sambudha Sen
Publisher: Permanent Black
Year: 2003
Language: English
Pages: 392
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8178240696


What does it mean to be an Indian teacher of English and American literature? How may one, as a student of English and American studies in India, overcome the wall of research and pedagogic limitations that encloses these disciplines in the South Asian context. These are some of the questions that Sen asks in his Introduction to this volume of essays.

One of the best examples of how the study of foreign literatures has survived and in fact, thrives despite the constraints of the Indian classroom is provided by the work of legendary teacher AN Kaul, author of two internationally reputed works of socio-literary criticism, namely The American Vision and The Action of English Comedy. Several of Kaul's students are now themselves illustrious teachers, theorists and practitioners of cultural and literary studies, both in India and the West. In this volume, they come together to offer original essays on diverse and specialized areas of research - ranging from studies of Shelley's metaphysics to Toni Morrison's politics, from the writings of early activists against censorship to textual representations of nationalism, trade, missionaries, and lesbianism.

Ranging over a vast terrain of idea, this volume demonstrates the diversity of ways in which Indians have 'mastered' the Western literary text. According to the editor, this has happened most notably by relying less on research materials (which are often locally scarce) and more on subtle critical ideas that have been brought to bear on the texts being analyzed and contextualized - an intellectual legacy, for the essayists here, of the work of their teacher, A N Kaul.

This volume will interest students of English and American Studies; colonialism and nationalism; culture and gender issues; the complex relation between literature and society; and the even more complex relationship between Western texts and Indian readers.


Publisher's Note
Notes on Contributors

Western Texts, Indian Locations

Historicist Reading and the Cutting Edge of Laughter: Re-viewing A N Kaul's Comic Agon: An Essay without Footnotes

A N Kaul's Theory of the C