By critically engaging with vernacular Tamil discussions on the category of Dalit literature, this essay argues that the specific aesthetics of life narratives and their ontological determination of the authorial subject have in many ways played a historical role in shaping the entire field of Dalit literature in Tamil. Further, this essay brings to the fore the contradiction between such ontological determination and the historico-political nature of the Dalit subject. In doing so, it also critically engages with a larger problem: the relationship between the aesthetics and politics of Dalit literature.


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