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...
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.
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.
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.
This book offers a bold and illuminating account of the worldviews nurtured and sustained by indigenous communities from across continents, through their distinctive understanding of concepts such as space, time, joy, pain, life, and death. It demonstrates how this different mode of ‘knowing’ has brought the indigenous into a cultural conflict with communities that claim to be modern and scientific. Bringing together scholars, artists and activists engaged in understanding and conserving local knowledge that continues to be in the shadow of cultural extinction, the book attempts to interpret repercussions on identity and cultural transformation and points to the tragic fate of knowing the world differently. The volume inaugurates a new thematic area in post-colonial studies and cultural anthropology by highlighting the perspectives of marginalized indigenous communities, often burdened with being viewed as ‘primitive’. It will be useful to scholars and students of anthropology, sociology, cultural studies, history, linguistics, literature, and tribal studies.