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‘This volume takes on…big questions, making a sophisticated and significant contribution to the great tradition of assessing the emergence of literary modernity in South Asia.’- Vasudha Dalmia, Professor of Hindi and Chair of the Department of South and Southeast Asian Studies, University of California Writing histories of literature means making selections, passing value judgments, and incorporating or rejecting foregoing traditions. The book argues that in many parts of India, literary histories play an important role in creating a cultural ethos. They are closely linked with nationalism in general and various regional ‘sub-nationalisms’ in particular.
Literary historiography helps to establish a national literature in a way that is not always unproblematic: systematic representation of literary works and authors is as much part of this story as conscious omissions or political spins in the making of a literary heritage.The contributors to this volume look at a great variety of aspects of the historiography of modern regional languages of India. The approach excludes classical languages of India from this approach, except Tamil which is considered a modern and a classical language at the same time. It includes the late yet undoubtedly successful arrival of English in the nation’s literary corpus.