Another Canon: Indian Texts and Traditions in English by Makarand R. Paranjape

By Makarand R. Paranjape

‘Another Canon: Indian Texts and Traditions’ in English strains the improvement of Indian English literary and textual perform over a interval of 7 a long time, focussing on vintage texts that have fallen past the scope of the demonstrated canon.

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Here, Anand is completely penetrated by the See Harold Bloom’s The Anxiety of Influence : A Theory of Poetry (1973) which provides the basic theoretical framework for this chapter. 1 CONVERSATIONS IN BLOOMSBURY 19 dominance of the metropolis whose representative Eliot is. The image is clearly Freudian: Anand has become a child in awe of his ‘father’, his rival, with his all-powerful and massive phallus (read ‘pen’ in this context), who looms so large over him. I would like to suggest that this is precisely the condition of the average Indian student when confronted with one of the major Western authors.

Sometimes, I feel the Indians should pursue their culture and leave government to the British empiricists […]’ Another all too familiar pearl of wisdom: Indians are good for culture, spirituality, and such things as are other-worldly; the British are empiricists, realists, so they must rule – a sort of natural explanation and justification for empire. Before this part of the conversation ends, Eliot (mis)pronounces Mohammad as ‘Mahomet’; Anand’s response speaks for itself: ‘My pride had made me rigid.

In fact, the novel is an exploration of India as an idea in contact with the West; as Rama, the protagonist puts it, ‘India is not a country like France is, or like England; India is an idea, a metaphysic’ (376). The Cat and Shakespeare (1965), too, is a Vedantic–Shakespearean parable on the working of self-surrender and grace or what Govindan Nair calls ‘the way of the Cat’. Finally, Raja Rao’s much awaited, finally released tome, The Chessmaster and his Moves (1988), continues and intensifies the debates of The Serpent and the Rope.

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