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Among The Luminaries in Assam: A Study of Assamese Biography

Anjali Sarma (Author)
Synopsis Biography has so long been a neglected branch of Assamese literature as it has been in many other Indian literature. Though biographical works have not been insignificant and though biographical writings have a long tradition in Asamese literature, Assamese biography has received very little critical attention. The present book is a ;pioneering work on Assamese biography. After defining biography in the light of Western and ancient Indian theories, it surveys Assamese biography systematically for the first time from its beginning in the medieval times till today. First, the medieval Assamese bagiographies depicting the lives of Assamese Vaisnavite saints and preachers like Sankaradeva and Madhavadeva are discussed. With the establishment of the British rule, Western biographical tradition influenced Assamese literature when nationalist poitical leaders, social reformers, men of letters, scientists and industrialists came to be the subjects of biographies. Assamese biographies of the british and Post-British periods with such heroes are dicussed in later chapters. In conclusion, the author has dwelt on the general adulatory tone of most Assamese biographies that tend to show the subjects as human beings par excellence, if not an super-human beings. During the vaisnava period when the Vaisnava hagiographies were written with a propagandist bias, the tone naturally got adulatory, and the subjects exaggerated as super-human beings. Even biographies during the British period could be so because these were then with a nationalist urge. But why is the same spirit persistent even today? The author poses the question and then goes to find out the cause of this. The book is bound to prove useful not only for the reachers and the students of literature comparative literature of undergraduate, post-graduate, M. Phill, and Ph. D. levels, but also for the readers and writers of biography and for general readers.
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About the author

Anjali Sarma

Dr. Anjali Sarma (b. 1942) teaches Assamese literature and language in Handique Gitrls’, College Gauhati the oldest premier institute of higher education for girls in Assam. An M. A. and Ph. D. in Assamese from the University of Gauhati. She is a reputed teacher who also writes and broadecasts about literature and culture. She has contributed to the multi-brought out by Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi.

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Bibliographic information

Title Among The Luminaries in Assam: A Study of Assamese Biography
Author Anjali Sarma
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.1990
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 8170992079
length xii+288p., Notes; References; Bibliography; Index; 22cm.