This is the Bangla translation of the second edition of the 1993 Sahitya Acakdemi Award winning English title After Amnesia published by us.
This is an original analysis of literary criticism in India. It describes what is recognized by common agreement as a crisis in Indian criticism, and explains it in historical terms.
Devy argues that the colonial experience in India gave rise to false images of the ancient Indian past as well as the modern West, and induced a state of ‘cultural amnesia’ and mistaken modes of literary criticism. It is this amnesia that is responsible for the belief among literary historians that accounting for critical tradition is necessary while constructing history of literature in modern Indian languages. Is it not conceivable for the languages like Marathi and Gujarati to have produced great literature for half a millennium without feeling the need to developing corresponding form of literary criticism? The author suggests that a proper assessment of literary criticism in Indian languages will become possible by postulating a more reliable literary history.
Drawing upon Marathi and Gujarati—and occasionally on Indian English—criticism, the author maintains that the crisis in contemporary literary criticism is caused primarily by a lapse in cultural memory. Since criticism that develops from a misleading historiography is ill-equipped to break new theoretical ground, the book also proposes a tentative historiography of Indian criticism.
This has a chapter in which the author discusses the effects of the momentous changes that took place since the book was first published in English in 1993, and their impact on the languages and linguistic creativity in India. He also details the nature of the profound changes that natural memory is undergoing due to the information technology and points to its impact on the nature of literary imagination.
Padmashree awardee G. N. Devy taught at the Maharaja Sayajirao University, Baroda, till 1996. He left the university to set up the Bhasha Research Centre in Baroda and the Adivasi Academy at Tejgadh where he worked towards conserving and promoting the languages and culture of indigenous and nomadic communities. Devy is the chief editor of the Peoples’ Linguistic Survey of India (PLSI) series, and is an Honorary Professor at Centre for Multi-disciplinary Development Research (CMDR), Dharwad, Karnataka.
Sankar Prasad Sinha is Professor in the department of English, Vidyasagar University.
Dr Indranil Acharya is Associate Professor, Department of English, Vidyasagar University.
On the Occasion of the Paperback Edition
A Note on Transliteration and Dates
Tradition and Amnesia
A Never-ending Transition
The Post-Memory Imagination
Notes and References