ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Missing Essay

Colonial Modernity and the Bangla Literary Tradition

Ideas, Thoughts & Memories: Bengali Literary Essays (A Selection in Translation) edited by Kaplana Bardhan, Kolkata: Anustup, 2021; pp 392, `600.

Talking of Power: Early Writings of Bengali Women edited by Malini Bhattacharya and Abhijit Sen, New Delhi, California, London and Singapore: Sage Publications, 2021; pp xv + 180, `750.

For many, the term colonial modernity inspires a spirit of insurgency. From the time of its arrival in the Indian subcontinent by way of imperial powers—following the European Enli­ghtenment of the 18th century—it has had to face the ire of a fierce group of dissidents. Most of their discomfort lay around the definition of modernity and its ownership. In fact, the definition ­itself was determined by who could claim the largest stake on modernity and who ended up being at its receiving end. It presented a tricky choice to its audience and practitioners who had the unenviable job of deciding what was acceptably modern and what was not; if you were worse off by not being modern; if mod­ernity could truly accommodate all our individual perceptions of the modern.

Tryst with Modernity

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Updated On : 5th Jul, 2023
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