Most Read

Josy Joseph’s Feast of Vultures

An award-winning journalist draws up on the stories of anonymous poor and famous Indians to weave together the challenges facing the nation.
Read More


Mahasweta : Life And Legacy

Mahasweta Devi's ideas and writing will continue to be the guiding principle for generations of writers, activists, academics and journalists.
Read More

Archive

CfB Bureau

Why did autobiographical writings emerge in Kerala more than a century ago? What were the social, material and cultural features that motivated individuals to write personal histories and memoirs? Writing the First Person: Literature, History and Autobiography in Modern Kerala by Udaya Kumar shows the complex ways in which private recollections and the use of memory for loosely literary ends, also entailed the production of history by another name.

Udaya Kumar analyses this period of social transformation to show the emergence of new resources for the self-relective writer, as well as of new idioms of expression. Among the many genres and forms he studies are anti-caste writings, works advocating spiritual and social reorientation, monologic poetry and early novels in Malayalam.

Udaya Kumar, a professor at the Centre for English Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, has been Professor of English at the University of Delhi and of Cultural Studies at the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta. He was Leverhulme Visiting Professor at Newcastle University and Fellow at the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library and at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study. His publications include The Joycean Labyrinth: Repetition, Time and Tradition in 'Ulysses' (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1991) and papers on contemporary literary and cultural theory and Indian literature.

Sree Narayana Guru’s thought, the portrayal of women and desire in Kumaran Asan’s poetry and the fictional worlds created by major novelists of this period (such as O. Chandu Menon and C. V. Raman Pillai), says Udaya Kumar, excited fresh appraisals of morality, personal emotions and shared pasts.

The envisioning of caste reform, the recording of historical change and the creation of political identities, he shows are often inextricable aspects of new literary practices. Using Kerala’s cultural history as his entry point, Udaya Kumar has written an uncommonly inspirational book of ideas about the relationship of literature to history, on literature as — in a sense —‘history in person’.

Writing the First Person: Literature, History and Autobiography in Modern Kerala | Udaya Kumar | Hedgehog and Fox series | Hard Back| Rs 895.00

Add comment


Security code
Refresh