The orientation of academic institutions has in recent years been moving away from highly specialized area studies in the classical sense towards broader regional and comparative studies. Cultural studies points to the limitation of Western approaches to non-Western cultures – a development not yet reflected in actual research and data collections. Bringing together scholars from all over the world with specialized knowledge in both Western and non-Western languages, literatures, and cultures, this collection of essays provides new insights into the agency of non-Western literatures in relation to the West – a term used with critical caution and, like other common binary dualisms, challenged here. Inter-cultural expertise, seldom applied in the combination of Asian, African, and ‘oriental’ perspectives, makes this compilation of essays an important contribution to the study of colonialism and postcoloniality.
Topics covered include postcolonial Arabic writing; T.S. Eliot in contemporary Arabic poetry; Algerian (and Berber) literature; the English language and narratives in Kenyan art; characterization, dialogism, gender and Western infuence in modern Hindi fiction;
Naya drama in India; modern Burmese theatre and literature under Western influence; Remarque’s
All Quiet on the Western Front and the Vietnamese
Novel Without a Name; Western Marxism and vernacular literature in colonial Indonesia; hybridity in
Komedi Stambul; and Sherlock Holmes in/and the crime fiction of Siam and Indonesia
Contributors: Amina Azza Bekkat; Thomas de Bruijn; Matthew Isaac Cohen; Rasheed El-Enany; Keith Foulcher; Saddik M. Gohar; Rachel Harrison; Doris Jedamski; Ursula Lies; Daniela Merolla; Evan Mwangi; Guzel Vladimirovna Strelkova; Anna Suvorova; U Win Pe
Other Tongues: Rethinking the Language Debates in India explores the implications of the energetic and, at times, acrimonious public debate among Indian authors and academics over the hegemonic role of Indian writing in English. From the 1960s the debate in India has centered on the role of the English language in perpetuating and maintaining the cultural and ideological aspects of imperialism. The debate received renewed attention following controversial claims by Salman Rushdie and V.S. Naipaul on the inferior status of contemporary Indian-language literatures.
This volume : • offers nuanced analysis of the language, audience and canon debate;
• provides a multivocal debate in which academics, writers and publishers are brought together in a multi-genre format (academic essay, interview, personal essay);
• explores how translation mediates this debate and the complex choices that translation must entail.
Other Tongues is the first collective study by to bring together voices from differing national, linguistic and professional contexts in an examination of the nuances of this debate over language. By creating dialogue between different stakeholders – seven scholars, three writers, and three publishers from India – the volume brings to the forefront underrepresented aspects of Indian literary culture.