6pm Thursday, October 24, 2013
745 Commonwealth Avenue Room 625
What happened when the novel met Indian history? Soon after it arrived in India in the mid-nineteenth century, the novel soon opened out a productive new mode of thinking simultaneously about the small and large frames of history. Novelists began to exploit fiction’s freedoms to pressure history, writing stories at once worldly and discontented. Inflected by the values (and the often visionary sensibility) of writers who sought to see society whole, the Indian novel became a new site of freedom and idealism within Indian history. As the new Indian democracy sought to fashion a new social contract in a deeply hierarchical civilization, so the Indian novel sought not just to find but also to form a new kind of reader/citizen, alive to both the weight and the potential of history. / In a one-hour lecture, Chandrahas Choudhury will present some thoughts on the Indian novel as an agent of history with reference to narratorial meditations and human dilemmas in novels by the 19th, 20th and 21st century Indian novelists Fakir Mohan Senapati (Oriya), Yashpal (Hindi), Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay (Bengali), UR Ananthamurthy (Kannada), Kunal Basu (English), Salma (Tamil) and Sadat Hasan Manto (Urdu). / Co-sponsored by the Department of English and the Department of Modern Languages and Comparative Literature.