Myths of the Nation: National Identity and Literary Representation

Hardcover | June 15, 1999

byRumina Sethi

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Myths of the Nation focuses on the construction of forms of historical consciousness in narratives, or schools of narrative. The study seeks to underscore what goes behind the writing of `true' and `authentic' histories by treating historical fiction as the literary dimension of nationalistideology. It traces nationalism from its abstract underpinnings to its concrete manifestation in historical fiction which underwrites the Indian freedom struggle. The construction of identity through mythicized conceptions of India is examined in detail through Raja Rao's first novel, Kanthapura. The key concept governing the subject is that of representation. Since the `fictional reality' of the nation is a much debated issue, the study examines how history slides into fiction. The author shows how orientalist, nationalist, Marxist, subalternists, and poststructuralists, have all, in theirown celebratory ways, used the disenfranchised sub-proletariat in their works. What she finds useful in poststructuralist practices, however, is that subaltern identities are imbued with heterogeneity, thus splitting open an authoritarian and reactionary nationalism, and a continuingneo-colonialism.

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Myths of the Nation focuses on the construction of forms of historical consciousness in narratives, or schools of narrative. The study seeks to underscore what goes behind the writing of `true' and `authentic' histories by treating historical fiction as the literary dimension of nationalistideology. It traces nationalism from its abstr...

Rumina Sethi is a British Academy Research Fellow at Wolfson College, University of Oxford, and has written widely on Postcolonial Cultural Studies.

other books by Rumina Sethi

The Politics of Postcolonialism: Empire, Nation and Resistance
The Politics of Postcolonialism: Empire, Nation and Res...

Kobo ebook|Mar 13 2015

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Format:HardcoverPublished:June 15, 1999Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198183399

ISBN - 13:9780198183396

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Narratives of Nationalism and the Politics of the OrientPart One1. The Nativization of English2. The Ideology of Gandhi: A Mass FantasyPart Two3. Peasant Uprisings and Fictional Strategies4. Contesting Identities: Involvement and Resistance of WomenPart Three5. The Future of a Vision6. Fixity and ResistanceBibliography