After-lives: The Transnational and the Local in the Fiction of Abdulrazak Gurnah and M.Mukundan

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E. V. Ramakrishnan


Comparative Literature in India, as a discipline, has struggled long to break away from the legacy of orientalism and Indology. In the wake of the assertion of emergent sections of society, such as dalits, women and minorities, the unitary impulse in the cultural domain has lost its legitimacy. The developments in literary and critical theory have contributed to this shift further. However, a hegemonic view of Indian literature, rooted in the grand narrative of a monolithic Indian tradition still finds favour with many critics and commentators. India is a multilingual country of more than twenty major languages with their separate literary traditions that go back to the early centuries of the second millennium. The radically oppositional world – views in regional cultural traditions resist co – option by powers of assimilation and domestication. Regional traditions with their multilingual and pluralist ethos, subscribe to divergent cosmologies and modes of expression, ranging from the folk to the transnational. The challenge before the comparatist in India is to explore the polyphonic voices of the literary universe cutting across many ideologies and social formations, in all their diversity, without losing sight of the larger cosmopolitan orientations that inform and animate the local and the regional . Over the years, English has become the major ‘link’ language into which prominent Indian authors get translated. English translations cannot reflect the thick plurality of the subliminal, experiential regional worlds. Comparative literature in India is deeply implicated in translation studies as translations into English have to be supplemented and complemented by insightful, interdisciplinary comparative studies.

Published: Nov 14, 2022

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