Modernisms in India

Supriya Chaudhuri

in The Oxford Handbook of Modernisms

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9780199545445
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Literature

 Modernisms in India

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  • Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)
  • Literary Studies (Postcolonial Literature)


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This article examines the history of modernism in India. It suggests that though the distinctions between modernity, modernization, and modernism are particularly complicated in the case of India, they remain crucial to a historical understanding of the ‘modern’ in all its senses. The article argues that the characteristic feature of Indian modernism in India is that it is manifestly social and historical rather than a hypostasis of the new as in the West. It contends that modernisms in India are deeply implicated in the construction of a secular national identity at home in the world, and in this respect answer a historical need to fashion a style for the modern as it is locally experienced.

Keywords: modernism; India; modernization; modernity; national identity; hypostasis

Article.  9342 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Studies (20th Century onwards) ; Literary Studies (Postcolonial Literature)

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