After Amnesia is an original analysis of literary criticism in India. It is an attempt to describe what is recognised by common agreement to be a crisis in Indian criticism, and to explain it in historical terms. Dr Devy argues that the colonial experience in India gave rise to false images of the West as a superior culture; and induced a state of cultural amnesia and mistaken modes of literary criticism. It is this amnesia that is responsible for the belief among literary historians that the critical tradition in the modern Indian languages for instance, Gujarati and Marathi is only over a hundred years old. The author argues that it is inconceivable for these languages to have produced great literatures for half a millennium without developing some form of literary criticism. Therefore, he says, it is necessary to postulate a more reliable literary history.
This books is a sequel to After Amnesia, Dr Devy s Sahitya Akademi Award winning study. Of Many Heroes attempts to reconstruct the convention s of literary history in India prior to India s colonial encounter with the modern West. In some sections of the essay, the main focus is the mutual dependence of western literary history and cultural colonialism.
A dominated culture learns not just to be like the culture that dominates it, but also attempts to conceal its own antecedents. In such cultural encounters, amnesia plays a major role in defining the self-perception of cultures. G. N. Devy s After Amnesia, first published in 1992, offers an incisive analysis of contemporary literary scholarship in Indian languages by demonstrating how modern Indian languages learnt to forget that literary criticism had been rejected by them during the post-Sanskrit medieval centuries, and how they have posed before themselves a false choice of intellectual practices rooted in culturally distant Western or Sanskritic traditions. After Amnesia proposes that wh...
A collection of essays on Adivasis. Tribal groups (adivasis) in India have often been excluded, marginalized and oppressed by `mainstream society. In many ways this exclusion, marginalization and oppression is fostered by the way in which `mainstream society looks at the adivasis as exotic, dangerous, or `primitive others. Devy s book looks at the problems of adivasis, the threat to their physical environment, the terror and indignity of the stigma of being considered criminal tribes and their induction into the communal violence in Gujarat. But he also discusses the simple sophistication of Adivasi knowledge systems, language and literature, as also initiatives taken along with tribals in the areas of health, microfinance and preservation of cultural forms.
Literary criticism produced by Indian scholars from the earliest times to the present age is represented in this book. These include Bharatamuni, Tholkappiyar, Anandavardhana, Abhinavagupta, Jnaneshwara, Amir Khusrau, Mirza Ghalib, Rabindranath Tagore, Sri Aurobindo, B.S. Mardhekar, Ananda Coomaraswamy, and A.K. Ramanujam and Sudhir Kakar among others. Their statements have been translated into English by specialists from Sanskrit, Persian and other languages.
This volume traces the theme of the loss of language and culture in numerous post-colonial contexts. It establishes that the aphasia imposed on the indigenous is but a visible symptom of a deeper malaise — the mismatch between the symbiotic relation nurtured by the indigenous with their environment and the idea of development put before them as their future. The essays here show how the cultures and the imaginative expressions of indigenous communities all over the world are undergoing a phase of rapid depletion. They unravel the indifference of market forces to diversity and that of the states, unwilling to protect and safeguard these marginalized communities. This book will be useful to scholars and researchers of cultural and literary studies, linguistics, sociology and social anthropology, as well as tribal and indigenous studies.
The papers in this volume were presented at the 2008 Chotro Conference on Indigeneous Languages, Culture and Society, Jan 2008, Delhi. It forms Vol.I of a 2-volume collection. The papers in this collection analyse the history and contemporary situation of indigenous peoples from different parts of the world. The focus is on language and literary and cultural expression. The authors examine issues ranging from the loss of languages and literary/cultural traditions, representation of indigenous peoples by `mainstream society, deprivations faced by them natural resources, education and civic facilities, and their history of colonization (including by the modern nation-state). But the papers also examine the creativity, knowledge systems and rich cultural traditions of indigenous peoples.