The Journey to the Past as a Journey into the Self

Ashis Nandy

in An Ambiguous Journey to the City

Published in print March 2007 | ISBN: 9780195683974
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199081448 | DOI:
The Journey to the Past as a Journey into the Self

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This chapter focuses on vicissitudes of the metaphor of journey. It treats them not as an experience that is uniquely Indian, but as an artefact of Europe's age of arrogance in the tropics and as a register of the changing mythography of South Asian creativity during the last hundred years. It is argued that, during the period, certain core concerns and anxieties of Indian civilization have come to be reflected in the journey from the village to the city, and from the city to the village. Travel through space and time, the known and the unknown and, ultimately, the self and the not-self, get subsumed under these two humble forms of journey. It is shown that even the great Partition violence in north India, which killed millions during 1946–8, has become intertwined with the idea of the journey between the village and the city.

Keywords: metaphor; epic journey; vicissitudes; Indian civilization; village; city; self; Partition violence

Chapter.  13979 words. 

Subjects: Migration Studies

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