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Arun Kolatkar and Literary Modernism in India: Moving Lines

Laetitia Zecchini
Format
Book
Published
London, UK ; New York, NY, USA : Bloomsbury Academic, 2014.
Language
English
Series
Historicizing Modernism
Historicizing Modernism
ISBN
9781441167507, 1441167501, 9781623565589 (epub), 9781472578327 (epdf)
Summary
"In this first scholarly work on India's great modern poet, Laetitia Zecchini outlines a story of literary modernism in India and discusses the traditions, figures and events that inspired and defined Arun Kolatkar. Based on an impressive range of archival and unpublished material, this book also aims at moving lines of accepted genealogies of modernism and 'postcolonial literature'. Zecchini uncovers how poets of Kolatkar's generation became modern Indian writers while tracing a lineage to medieval oral traditions. She considers how literary bilingualism allowed Kolatkar to blur the boundaries between Marathi and English, 'Indian' and 'Western sources; how he used his outsider position to privilege the quotidian and minor and revived the spirit of popular devotion. Graphic artist, poet and songwriter, storyteller of Bombay and world history, poet in Marathi, in English and in 'Americanese', non-committal and deeply political, Kolatkar made lines wobble and treasured impermanence. Steeped in world literature, in European avant-garde poetry, American pop and folk culture, in a 'little magazine' Bombay bohemia and a specific Marathi ethos, Kolatkar makes for a fascinating subject to explore and explain the story of modernism in India"--
"A tremendous variety of influences have shaped Indian literary modernity, all of which can be understood through the poetry of Arun Kolatkar. In this first scholarly work of India's great modern poet, Laetitia Zecchini discusses the traditions, figures and events that inspired and defined Kolatkar specifically and Indian modernism in general. Zecchini uses unpublished manuscripts and diaries to follow the conflation of regional, pan-Indian and Western traditions on Kolatkar. She uncovers how poets of his generation became modern Indian writers while tracing a medieval lineage at the same time as they translated contemporary Western poetry. She considers how literary bilingualism allowed Kolatkar to blur the boundaries between 'original' Marathi poems and the English 'translation'; why he used his outsider position to privilege the minor and peripheral and how, like many modern Indian poets, Kolatkar used the present to revive the spirit of popular devotion. Steeped in World literature, European avant-garde poetry and American pop culture, Kolatkar makes for a fascinating subject to explore and explain the story of Indian literary modernity"--
Contents
  • Introduction. On 'selective traditions' and Kolatkar's invisibility
  • Modernism in India: 'Newness enters the world through acts of displacements'
  • Life of a poet: Some elements of context
  • I. Bombay Bohemianism, Bombay Cosmopolitanism. The 'city of Strangers' and the 'fantastic conglomeration of clashing realities'
  • The Kala Ghoda bohemians: Dissent, deracination and belonging
  • 'Welcome to the conspiracy': Little magazines and small presses
  • 'A rooted errantry' or the cosmopolitan local
  • II. Marathi and English Cycles of Give-and-take: on Issues of Bilingualism and Translation, Orality and Reinvention. Kolatkar's multilingualities: The poet as piebald animal
  • Poetry India is Translation India
  • Bhakti re-sung: The speaking voice, the singing voice and 'Americanese'
  • III. Seeing the World Anew: Recording and Defamiliarizing the Ordinary. 'Keep it' 'Look with all your eyes, Look!': the Kala Ghoda stage
  • Turning around: converting, disturbing and defamiliarizing perception
  • IV: From Scrap to Art: recycling and transfiguring the world. The art of assemblage: The 'old junk shop', the poet and the rag-picker
  • A malleable world: Second lives, new beginnings and wobbly lines
  • Divine ready-mades: In praise of the impermanent present
  • V. The Politics of Kolatkar I Life Turned Upside Down: Orchestrating and Exposing Chaos. 'All laws break down': The jaywalking poet and the challenge of dharma
  • Sarpa Satra: The impossible-to-sanitize ritual of purification
  • Foundational refuse
  • VI. The Politics of Kolatkar II Reclaiming History, Multivocality and Foreignness. Voices of History, voices of sorrow: The poet, the storyteller and the unforgetful
  • Historicity against Nativism: Challenging Hindu Nationalism
  • Literature, censorship and the straightjacking of Indianness
  • VII. By Way of Conclusion: the Trope of 'Outsidedness' and the Poet as Stranger.
Description
xvii, 229 pages ; 25 cm.
Notes
Includes bibliographical references (pages 207-220) and index.
Technical Details
  • Access in Virgo Classic
  • Staff View

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    a| Introduction. On 'selective traditions' and Kolatkar's invisibility -- Modernism in India: 'Newness enters the world through acts of displacements' -- Life of a poet: Some elements of context -- I. Bombay Bohemianism, Bombay Cosmopolitanism. The 'city of Strangers' and the 'fantastic conglomeration of clashing realities' -- The Kala Ghoda bohemians: Dissent, deracination and belonging -- 'Welcome to the conspiracy': Little magazines and small presses -- 'A rooted errantry' or the cosmopolitan local -- II. Marathi and English Cycles of Give-and-take: on Issues of Bilingualism and Translation, Orality and Reinvention. Kolatkar's multilingualities: The poet as piebald animal -- Poetry India is Translation India -- Bhakti re-sung: The speaking voice, the singing voice and 'Americanese' -- III. Seeing the World Anew: Recording and Defamiliarizing the Ordinary. 'Keep it' 'Look with all your eyes, Look!': the Kala Ghoda stage -- Turning around: converting, disturbing and defamiliarizing perception -- IV: From Scrap to Art: recycling and transfiguring the world. The art of assemblage: The 'old junk shop', the poet and the rag-picker -- A malleable world: Second lives, new beginnings and wobbly lines -- Divine ready-mades: In praise of the impermanent present -- V. The Politics of Kolatkar I Life Turned Upside Down: Orchestrating and Exposing Chaos. 'All laws break down': The jaywalking poet and the challenge of dharma -- Sarpa Satra: The impossible-to-sanitize ritual of purification -- Foundational refuse -- VI. The Politics of Kolatkar II Reclaiming History, Multivocality and Foreignness. Voices of History, voices of sorrow: The poet, the storyteller and the unforgetful -- Historicity against Nativism: Challenging Hindu Nationalism -- Literature, censorship and the straightjacking of Indianness -- VII. By Way of Conclusion: the Trope of 'Outsidedness' and the Poet as Stranger.
    520
      
      
    a| "In this first scholarly work on India's great modern poet, Laetitia Zecchini outlines a story of literary modernism in India and discusses the traditions, figures and events that inspired and defined Arun Kolatkar. Based on an impressive range of archival and unpublished material, this book also aims at moving lines of accepted genealogies of modernism and 'postcolonial literature'. Zecchini uncovers how poets of Kolatkar's generation became modern Indian writers while tracing a lineage to medieval oral traditions. She considers how literary bilingualism allowed Kolatkar to blur the boundaries between Marathi and English, 'Indian' and 'Western sources; how he used his outsider position to privilege the quotidian and minor and revived the spirit of popular devotion. Graphic artist, poet and songwriter, storyteller of Bombay and world history, poet in Marathi, in English and in 'Americanese', non-committal and deeply political, Kolatkar made lines wobble and treasured impermanence. Steeped in world literature, in European avant-garde poetry, American pop and folk culture, in a 'little magazine' Bombay bohemia and a specific Marathi ethos, Kolatkar makes for a fascinating subject to explore and explain the story of modernism in India"-- c| Provided by publisher.
    520
      
      
    a| "A tremendous variety of influences have shaped Indian literary modernity, all of which can be understood through the poetry of Arun Kolatkar. In this first scholarly work of India's great modern poet, Laetitia Zecchini discusses the traditions, figures and events that inspired and defined Kolatkar specifically and Indian modernism in general. Zecchini uses unpublished manuscripts and diaries to follow the conflation of regional, pan-Indian and Western traditions on Kolatkar. She uncovers how poets of his generation became modern Indian writers while tracing a medieval lineage at the same time as they translated contemporary Western poetry. She considers how literary bilingualism allowed Kolatkar to blur the boundaries between 'original' Marathi poems and the English 'translation'; why he used his outsider position to privilege the minor and peripheral and how, like many modern Indian poets, Kolatkar used the present to revive the spirit of popular devotion. Steeped in World literature, European avant-garde poetry and American pop culture, Kolatkar makes for a fascinating subject to explore and explain the story of Indian literary modernity"-- c| Provided by publisher.
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