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Myths of the Nation National Identity and Literary Representation

by Rumina (British Academy Research Fellow, Wolfson College, Oxford) Sethi

Myths of the Nation National Identity and Literary Representation Synopsis

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 nationalist ideology. 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 their own 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 continuing neo-colonialism.

Myths of the Nation National Identity and Literary Representation Press Reviews

As both a single-author study and an analysis of the dilemmas and aspirations of twentieth-century India, Sethi's book makes compelling reading * Years Work in English Studies *

Book Information

ISBN: 9780198183396
Publication date: 1st May 1999
Author: Rumina (British Academy Research Fellow, Wolfson College, Oxford) Sethi
Publisher: Clarendon Press an imprint of Oxford University Press
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 232 pages
Categories: Literary studies: general, Literary studies: fiction, novelists & prose writers, Historiography, Nationalism, Folklore, myths & legends,

About Rumina (British Academy Research Fellow, Wolfson College, Oxford) Sethi

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

More About Rumina (British Academy Research Fellow, Wolfson College, Oxford) Sethi

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