Overview for Narrative Strategies: Essays on South Asian Literature and Film
The fifteen essays collected in this volume present analyses of a wide variety of modern and pre-modern South Asian narratives in Bengali, Hindi, Panjabi, Tamil, and Urdu. While classics such as Hir Varis Shah, Krittibasaâ€™s Ramayana, Ruswaâ€™s Umrao Jan Ada, and Phalkeâ€™s pioneering film venture Raja Harischandra come under discussion, texts less widely known, though equally significant, are also analysed in vivid detail. A wide range of analytical methods are applied, including narratology, reception theory, genre theories, rhetoric, and the theory of transtextuality. Though the essays focus on applied analysis, an effort has been made in each to explain the basic tenets of the methods used. These methods bring into focus such vital issues as the uses of tradition, the renegotiation of gender roles, and shifts in genre and literary categories. This volume is a significant contribution to the study of South Asian narratives with its constructive and sensitive application of diverse critical approaches to its subject area and its explicit awareness of methodology in the analysis of such narratives. The essays offer a wide range of engaging and often challenging interpretations of the narratives studied which will interest scholars and attract general readers.