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Poetry, Politics and Culture: Essays on Indian Texts and Contexts

Akshaya Kumar (Author)
Synopsis As Indian poetry of the post-1990s gravitates towards a non-orientalised post colonial nationalism, it seeks to rewrite culture in terms of the dissent of the subaltern discontents of its nation. From the medieval Bhakti movement to the present-day Naxalite discourse, poets have been at the vanguard of political leadership, providing intellectual stimulus as well as cultural momentum to people's participation in the making of the nation. This book maps the journey of the Indian poetic imagination--in Hindi, Punjabi and Indian English--from its original quasi-spiritual nationalist longings to its present-day subalternist aspirations. In this sense, this is not just an academic exercise: it is an intervention of a kind hitherto not imagined in the context of any critical study of Indian poetry. The poets discussed in this book have not been looked at merely as poets or poet-seers but as poet-activists who have an interest in the political future of the nation. These different streams of poetry have been analysed in terms of their stakes in the political and cultural processes of the nation. The book is interdisciplinary: it studies Indian poetry from the imperatives of post colonialism, new historiography, subaltern, Dalit and diaspora nationalism, and cultural studies. Covering two major north Indian Languages--Hindi and Punjabi--along with poetry in Indian English, it is a close textual study of about 150 poetry collections. It is path-breaking in its study of secular poetry written in the 'vernaculars', with critical attention to its participation in the political as well as cultural processes of nation-making.
This cutting edge book should be of interest to scholars of Indian writings in English, Hindi and Punjabi, gender studies, Dalit and diaspora studies, postcolonial poetry and to students reading South Asian literature and culture.
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Bibliographic information

Title Poetry, Politics and Culture: Essays on Indian Texts and Contexts
Author Akshaya Kumar
Format Hardcover
Date published: 16.05.2009
Edition Ist ed.
Language: English
isbn 415480055
length x+400 p.