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Cultural Diversity Linguistic Plurality & Literary Traditions in India

Cultural Diversity Linguistic Plurality & Literary Traditions in India
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Item Code: NAQ389
Author: Sukrita Paul Kumar
Publisher: Oxford University Press, New Delhi
Language: English
Edition: 2018
ISBN: 9780199457601
Pages: 199
Other Details: 8.50 X 5.50 inch
weight of the book: 0.2 kg
Back of the Book

This anthology offers a view of literary practices across many Indian languages, over several centuries. The selections show how cultural diversity in India exists through a living mixture of continuities and transmutations; how, for instance, medieval Sufi or Bhakti poetry is found amidst the literatures of contemporary India. Dalit, tribal and women's voices are richly represented in this collection, as are themes of caste, community, gender and composite culture. The volume aims to overcome the limitations of studying the literature of a single language or literary tradition by introducing the student to comparative readings, and to rectify our assigning a privileged status to written literature by including some examples of oral traditions.

The anthology has eight units, of which two also touch upon the question of language politics and hierarchies. Each unit includes a significant theoretical or critical essay to complement the creative pieces included in the same unit.

This second edition of the book has the latest available information about languages in India.

About the Author

Sukrita Paul Kumar currently holds the Aruna Asaf Ali Chair at the Cluster Innovation Centre, University of Delhi. She is a well-known critic, poet and translator, and has published extensively. Her books include Dream Catcher (2014), Interpreting Homes (2007), Narrating Partition (2004) and Conversations on Modernism (1990).

Vibha S. Chauhan is Associate Professor, Department of English, Zakir Husain Delhi College. She is a critic, writer and translator, and is the author of the Hindi novel Ganga Jamuna Beech (2007) and co-author of the biography Maa Siddeshwari (2000). She has also translated Ioginder Paul's Urdu novel Paar-Pare into English (Beyond Black Waters, 2007.

Bodh Prakash is Associate Professor at Zakir Husain Delhi College. He is the author of Writing Partition: Aesthetics and Ideology in Hindi and Urdu Literature (2009), and is currently working on Nehru's Discovery of India and the idea of diversity.


This anthology offers a glimpse of the vibrant cultural diversity of India by including selections from varied literary currents flowing simultaneously in many languages here. Literary traditions in India have thrived in their continuities, dynamism and transmutations. Whether a Bulleh Shah or a Mahadeviyakka, they remain visible and survive in different forms, into contemporary times as lived experience. This book presents Sufi and Bhakti poetry of medieval times alongside the literary traditions of modern times.

Dalit, tribal and women's voices, usually offered as exclusive studies, are included in this volume, to draw attention to the diversity of creative expression across class, caste and gender, as also, across time and space. By presenting samples from oral literary traditions, this volume also seeks to question the hegemony of the written over the oral. A.K. Ramanujan's retelling of a popular Kannada tale with his scholarly analysis of the same, included in this anthology, demonstrates the significant role played by folk tales in the making of popular culture.

The politics of language forms an important theme in the unit on Hindi and Urdu, while the question of language hierarchies is dealt with in the unit on 'Writing in English'. The final unit in this anthology focuses on the literary cultures of two languages-chosen at random-Gujarati and Sindhi. Each unit in the volume carries a significant theoretical or critical essay, which complements the three or four creative pieces included in the rest of the unit.

We hope this anthology will help to overcome the insularity inherent in studies of a single language or literary tradition.

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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