Gajarawala: Untouchable Fictions
Gajarawala, Toral Jatin:
Untouchable Fictions : Literary Realism and the Crisis of Caste / Toral Jatin Gajarawala. - New York : Fordham University Press, 2013. - X, 258 S.
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Untouchable Fictions considers the crisis of literary realism—progressive, rural, regionalist, experimental—in order to derive a literary genealogy for the recent explosion of Dalit (“untouchable caste”) fiction. Drawing on a wide array of writings from Premchand and Renu in Hindi to Mulk Raj Anand and V. S. Naipaul in English, Gajarawala illuminates the dark side of realist complicity: a hidden aesthetics and politics of caste. How does caste color the novel? What are its formal tendencies? What generic constraints does it produce?
Untouchable Fictions juxtaposes the Dalit text and its radical critique with a history of progressive literary movements in South Asia. Gajarawala reads Dalit writing dialectically, doing justice to its unique and groundbreaking literary interventions while also demanding that it be read as an integral moment in the literary genealogy of the 20th and 21st centuries.
This book, grounded in the fields of postcolonial theory, South Asian literatures, and cultural studies, makes a crucial intervention into studies of literary realism and will be important for all readers interested in the problematic relations between aesthetics and politics and between social movements and cultural production. [Verlagsinformation]
Three Burnings: An Introduction. 1
Dalit Realisms. 16
1. The Dalit Limit Point: Realism, Representation, and Crisis in Premchand. 12
The Critique of the "Clawless Lion". 63
2. Modernism, Marxism, Metaphor: the Origins of a Literary Politics of Particularism. 68
Realist Particularisms. 92
3. A Perfect Whole: Knowledge by Transcription and Rural Regionalism. 97
Realism and Revelation. 123
4. Casteless Modernities: the Contemporary Anglophone Novel and its Invisible Interlocutors. 129
Realism after Modernism? 164
5. Some Time Between Revisionist and Revolutionary ... : Reading History in Dalit Textuality. 168
Dalit Realisms Revisited. 187
Mimesis: the Representation of Reality in other Literatures. 191
Epilogue: Aesthetics and their Afterlives. 197
Works Cited. 233
TORAL JATIN GAJARAWALA is Assistant Professor of English and Comparative Literature at New York University. Profile page.
- Untouchable Fictions: Literary Realism and the Crisis of Caste. X, 258 S. (2013).