Author: Ashis Nandy
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0195652428
Rich in theoretical insights drawn from a plethora of sources and inspirations, and written in an engaging style, this book will delight scholars across disciplines as much as general readers interested in the psychology and politics of culture.
The 'journey' as a metaphor for life - intellectual, emotional and spiritual - has been a favorite of philosophers, scholars, and mystics in South Asia for centuries. In this intriguing book, Ashis Nandy is concerned with a particular, apparently territorial, journey - one that uses the opposition between the village and the city as its pivot. He argues that over the past hundred years, certain core concerns and anxieties of Indian civilization have come to be reflected in the journey between the city and the village. He also contends that the decline of the village in the creative imagination of Indians in recent decades has altered the meaning of this journey drastically.
Based on Nandy's lectures on Indian civilization, the book is divided into four sections. It first deals with the changes in the metaphor of journey - in politics, literature, epics, social knowledge and popular culture. The second and third sections profile two highly creative Indians who have helped shape the contemporary myth of the hero in their society. The fourth and final section deals with the violence and exodus of 1946-8 that heralded the birth of India and Pakistan. In effect, the last section of the book is a story of the abridgement of the Indian self and the dissolution of the hero.