Counterrealism and Indo-Anglian Fiction
Publication Year: 2009
Published by: Wilfrid Laurier University Press
Title Page, Copyright Page
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A former version of the first chapter appeared in the University of Toronto Quarterly (2000), and a short essay on “Midnight’s Grandchildren” was published in Sharing a Commonwealth (2001). The staff at Wilfrid Laurier Press have been very helpful, supportive, and...
1. Counterrealism as Alternative Literary History
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This book is at least partially a belated response to a significant, polemical, and neglected monograph entitled Indian Writing in English: Is There Any Worth in It? written by Subha Rao and published in 1976. The monograph is a re-working and elaboration of a paper presented, appropriately, at the...
2. The Fabulator of Malgudi: R.K. Narayan
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To invoke the work of R.K. Narayan as an originary moment in the history of counterrealism in Indo-Anglian writing is, admittedly, unusual, for his reputation as an author rests squarely on his penchant for truthful representation rather than experiment. Ever since Graham...
3. H. Hatterr and Sauce Anglaise: G.V. Desani
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All About H. Hatterr begins with a prefatory “warning” that includes an anecdotal account of a disgruntled peasant who tries to derail a goods train because his house had been burgled, and a short dialogue about the status of this novel as gesture. This is the first indication that...
4. Slipper Dragging and the Silent Piano: Anita Desai
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Anita Desai’s novel Baumgartner’s Bombay concludes with the death of the ill-fated, exiled, and powerless Hugo at the hands of Kurt, the drug-crazed German. By turns poetic, ironic, and tragic, the episode reinforces the complexity of the moment, the confluence of various motifs, which...
5. The Art of Enchantment: Zulfikar Ghose
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Zulfikar Ghose’s recent collection of short stories, Veronica and the Gongora Passion, includes a story called “Lila of the Butterflies and Her Chronicler” which was originally written for inclusion in a special volume honouring Gabriel García Márquez, published by the Latin American Literary Review in...
6. Fashioning New Fables: Suniti Namjoshi
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Suniti Namjoshi’s Feminist Fables, first published in 1981, begins with a fable entitled “From the Panchatantra,” which, among other things, serves as an introduction to the discontinuous mode of the book and as an acknowledgment of the Indian sources from which the author fashions at...
7. Fabulating the Real: Salman Rushdie
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Paying a grand compliment to himself, Salman Rushdie, writing in a 1997 special issue of The New Yorker, refers to a short-lived but widespread virus called Rushdie-itis–a condition he claims affected many but from which Indian authors soon recovered to find their own voices. Despite...
8. Midnight’s Grandchildren
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Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children ends with the scattering of the gifted and ill-fated children. The final vision, partially redeemed by the token presence of the pickle jars and the birth of Ganapati, is less apocalyptic than that of his subsequent novel, less solemn than, say...
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Page Count: 222
Publication Year: 2009