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Is 'Indian Civilization' a Myth: Fictions and Histories

 
Sanjay Subrahmanyam (Author)
Synopsis

In the title essay of this enthralling collection, Sanjay Subrahmanyam sets a provocative ball rolling: At the heart of the matter , he says, is the notion that at some distant point in the past, say about AD 500, the concept of Indian civilization had already been perfected. Everything of any importance was in place: social structure, philosophy, the major literary works ... The central idea here is of India-as-civilization, and it very soon becomes the same as a notion of closed India. Demolishing some of the myths which sustain the notion of the wonder that was India , he shows us a region that was always more a crossroads, a rendezvous for concepts, cultures, and worldviews. Subrahmanyam s book is itself a meeting point for a dazzling variety of ideas. It provides the cosmopolitan perspective of a multilingual world scholar who, having begun life in New Delhi, has gone on to live in several thought-provoking cities, including Paris, Lisbon, and Oxford. He is witty, debunking, iconoclastic, and polemically entertaining in all that he anatomizes here Indian history and fiction, South Asian cultural forms, imperialism and imperialists, secularism and Hindu nationalism, travel writing, and the central conceits in Hemingway, Rushdie, Naipaul, and Marquez.

Subrahmanyam is renowned as a historian and biographer. This book, which makes us rethink India and the world around it, is the first to reveal that he is also a writer of accessible and delightful English prose.

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About the author

Sanjay Subrahmanyam

SANJAY SUBRAHMANYAM is professor and holder of the Navin and Pratima Doshi Chair of Indian History at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is the author of several books, including The Career and Legend of Vasco da Gama and the two-volume Explorations in Connected History.

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Bibliographic information

Title Is 'Indian Civilization' a Myth: Fictions and Histories
Format Softcover
Date published: 09.07.2013
Edition 1st. ed.
Publisher Permanent Black
Language: English
isbn 8178243709, 9788178244617
length xiv+262p., 22cm.