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New Comparisons in World Literature

Postcolonial Modernity and the Indian Novel

On Catastrophic Realism

Authors: Bhattacharya, Sourit

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  • Explores for the first time the postcolonial English and non-anglophone Indian novel through the lens of crisis and catastrophe
  • Examines novels by canonical authors such as Salman Rushdie and Rohinton Mistry alongside more rarely-studied authors such as Nayantara Sahgal, Bhabani Bhattacharya, Mahasweta Devi, Amalendu Chakraborty, and Nabarun Bhattacharya
  • Draws upon and brings in some of the contemporary debates on ecological and resource crisis, disasters, materialist postcolonial studies, world-literature, and literary activism
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eBook 58,84 €
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  • ISBN 978-3-030-37397-9
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Hardcover 72,79 €
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  • ISBN 978-3-030-37396-2
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About this book

This book argues that modernity in postcolonial India has been synonymous with catastrophe and crisis. Focusing on the literary works of the 1943 Bengal Famine, the 1967–72 Naxalbari Movement, and the 1975–77 Indian Emergency, it shows that there is a long-term, colonially-engineered agrarian crisis enabling these catastrophic events. Novelists such as Bhabani Bhattacharya, Mahasweta Devi, Salman Rushdie, Rohinton Mistry, Nabarun Bhattacharya, and Nayantara Sahgal, among others, have captured the relationship between the long-term crisis and the catastrophic aspects of the events through different aesthetic modalities within realism, ranging from analytical-affective, critical realist, quest modes to apparently non-realist ones such as metafictional, urban fantastic, magical realist, and others. These realist modalities are together read here as postcolonial catastrophic realism. 

About the authors

Sourit Bhattacharya is Lecturer in Postcolonial Studies at the University of Glasgow, Scotland. He is a co-editor of Nabarun Bhattacharya (2020) and Sanglap: Journal of Literary and Cultural Inquiry.


Reviews

“Postcolonial Modernity and the Indian Novel is an incisive study of how literature represents three “catastrophic” events of twenty-century India. Advancing original readings of both famous and less-known works in English and Bengali, and blending historical accounts with literary analysis, Bhattacharya interrogates the politics of literary form and reclaims postcolonial realism as an energetic and politically committed mode of apprehending social reality.” (Ulka Anjaria, Professor of English, Brandeis University, USA)

“Bhattacharya has produced an illuminating and eloquent study of crisis and catastrophe in modern Indian fiction. The lens of 'catastrophic realism' opens up a range of important texts to sharp critical analysis and generates fine new understandings of authors from Rushdie and Mahasweta Devi to O.V Vijayan and Nabarun Bhattacharya. An essential companion for studies of the novel in India.” (Dr Priyamvada Gopal, Cambridge University, UK)

“In this urgent and compelling study, Sourit Bhattacharya makes a case for reading catastrophe -- famine, insurgency, political terror – as the hermeneutic lever with which to unlock the complexities of aesthetic form in Indian postcolonial fiction. His admirable historical contextualization and careful analysis of novels from six decades following Indian independence suggest a harsh, unforgiving realist commitment within both modernist and postmodernist narrative, producing the poetics of ‘catastrophic realism’. Bhattacharya’s book should be required reading for students of postcolonial fiction.” (Supriya Chaudhuri, Professor Emerita, Jadavpur University, India)

“This is an original book that offers a welcome discussion of literary realism within a postcolonial context. It explores the possibilities of constructing a new perspective on literary history centred around catastrophic events throughout the 20th century. Bhattacharya’s detailed and engaging readings will undoubtedly make an important contribution to the postcolonial revision of modernity, and the role of literature within the dynamics of history.” (Dr Eli Park Sorensen, Assistant Professor of English, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong and author of Postcolonial Studies and the Literary: Theory, Interpretation and the Novel (2010))

 


Table of contents (6 chapters)

Table of contents (6 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook 58,84 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-37397-9
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover 72,79 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-37396-2
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Immediate ebook access, if available*, with your print order
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
  • The final prices may differ from the prices shown due to specifics of VAT rules
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Postcolonial Modernity and the Indian Novel
Book Subtitle
On Catastrophic Realism
Authors
Series Title
New Comparisons in World Literature
Copyright
2020
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-37397-9
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-37397-9
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-030-37396-2
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XIV, 280
Number of Illustrations
1 b/w illustrations
Topics

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