Literary Modernity in South Asia

Javed Majeed

in India and the British Empire

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199259885
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191744587 | DOI:

Series: Oxford History of the British Empire Companion Series

Literary Modernity in South Asia

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)


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This chapter outlines three broad issues which constitute the field of South Asian literary studies: the standardization of written forms of Indian languages, the location and constitution of texts in the relationships between Indian society and the colonial state, and the rupture between a modern and pre-modern poetics. The chapter focuses on the latter and explores the interplay between tradition and innovation in South Asian literary modernity. In doing so, it seeks to identify some of its key features in terms of its cosmopolitanism, its experimentation, and the nature of the creative choices open to authors and poets in the subcontinent under colonialism.

Keywords: literary modernity; cosmopolitanism; experimentation; tradition; literary innovation

Chapter.  9238 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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