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Myths of the Nation : National Identity and Literary Representation - Rumina Sethi

Myths of the Nation

National Identity and Literary Representation

Hardcover Published: 1st May 1999
ISBN: 9780198183396
Number Of Pages: 232

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Myths of the Nation focuses on the construction of forms of historical consciousness in narratives, or schools of narrative. The study seeks to underscore what goes behind the writing of `true' and `authentic' histories by treating historical fiction as the literary dimension of nationalist ideology. It traces nationalism from its abstract underpinnings to its concrete manifestation in historical fiction which underwrites the Indian freedom struggle. The construction of identity through mythicized conceptions of India is examined in detail through Raja Rao's first novel, Kanthapura. The key concept governing the subject is that of representation. Since the `fictional reality' of the nation is a much debated issue, the study examines how history slides into fiction. The author shows how orientalist, nationalist, Marxist, subalternists, and poststructuralists, have all, in their own celebratory ways, used the disenfranchised sub-proletariat in their works. What she finds useful in poststructuralist practices, however, is that subaltern identities are imbued with heterogeneity, thus splitting open an authoritarian and reactionary nationalism, and a continuing neo-colonialism.

Industry Reviews

As both a single-author study and an analysis of the dilemmas and aspirations of twentieth-century India, Sethi's book makes compelling reading * Years Work in English Studies *

Introduction: Narratives of Nationalism and the Politics of the Orient Part One 1: The Nativization of English 2: The Ideology of Gandhi: A Mass Fantasy Part Two 3: Peasant Uprisings and Fictional Strategies 4: Contesting Identities: Involvement and Resistance of Women Part Three 5: The Future of a Vision 6: Fixity and Resistance Bibliography

ISBN: 9780198183396
ISBN-10: 0198183399
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 232
Published: 1st May 1999
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 21.59 x 13.97  x 1.75
Weight (kg): 0.38