Flesh and Fish Blood is a book that takes off from the idea that postcolonialism needs to break new ground since a character of staleness and ennui has come into postcolonial studies. The book brings into focus the need to infuse both new archival resources to approach the study of what postcolonialism means and also to stress new methodologies in analysing postcolonial studies.
The book therefore is a call to such a challenge. Working with literature and film from India in English, Tamil and Hindi, the book explores the rich potential of what S Shankar insists on calling the vernacular, and studies it as a critical term capable of opening up fresh areas for study within postcolonial studies. The book recommends and pushes for renewed and more focused attention to translation issues and comparative methods for their relevance in uncovering disregarded aspects of postcolonial societies such as India. Often, the argument draws out broader implications, offering provocative remarks on humanism and cosmopolitanism. Beyond its focus on India, Flesh and Fish Blood opens up new horizons of theoretical possibility for postcolonial studies and cultural analysis in general.
S. Shankar is a literary critic, novelist and translator. His books include a volume of criticism, Textual Traffic: Colonialism, Modernity and the Economy of the Text, a novel, No End to the Journey and a co-edited anthology, Crossing into America: The New Literature of Immigration. He teaches in the English Department at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.
1. Midnight’s Orphans, or the Postcolonial and the Vernacular
2. Lovers and Renouncers, or Caste and the Vernacular
3. Pariahs, or the Human and the Vernacular
4. The “Problem” of Translation
Conclusion: Postcolonialism and Comparatism