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Prose of the WorldModernism and the Banality of Empire$
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Saikat Majumdar

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780231156950

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231156950.001.0001

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Amit Chaudhuri and the Materiality of the Mundane

Amit Chaudhuri and the Materiality of the Mundane

(p.135) Chapter 4 Amit Chaudhuri and the Materiality of the Mundane
Prose of the World

Saikat Majumdar

Columbia University Press

This chapter analyzes the fiction of Amit Chaudhuri, who had been the most articulate voice in expressing a persistent critique of the ethos of the national allegory that had, at one point, come to be nearly synonymous with Anglophone Indian literature. The clearest enunciation of this critique was The Picador Book of Modern Indian Literature, which he edited, in particular, in the essays that form the editorial introduction to the volume. In these essays, Chaudhuri points out that notwithstanding the national allegory's claims to a subversive and experimental narrative form, the genre is driven by an ideological conformity to the Nehruvian vision of modern India. Chaudhuri provides a valuable alternative tradition of contemporary postcolonial writing that deserves far greater attention than it has received so far. The publication of his anthology in 2001 is a pivotal moment in the articulation of this tradition.

Keywords:   Anglophone Indian literature, national allegory, modern India, contemporary postcolonial writing

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