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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Annotated Sources

Here are my annotated sources, at least the official ones (after the jump), huzzah:

1. Ashcroft, Bill, Gareth Griffiths, and Helen Tiffin. The Empire Writes Back. 2nd ed. New York: Routledge, 2008. Print.

This book serves as a primer for the topic of post-colonial literature. It does not cover everything and does not go into intense detail, but it is a great introduction to the topic. It defined post-colonial literature very well. For my project it serves as an excellent reference point for how I consider Indian literature. Its relevance will vary depending on what I focus on, but the foundation of what the West thinks of Indian literature has been enlightening.

2. Shanghvi, Siddharth Dhanvant. The Lost Flamingoes of Bombay. New York: St. Martin’s Griffin, 2010. Print.

This text is really more of a good representative a of a series of texts I have been reading. They are kind of grouped by theme. I did not consciously choose them for this theme, but it is something I have been noticing that often appears in Indian writing. The Lost Flamingoes of Bombay focuses on love and relationships. Perhaps because of the tradition of arranged marriages, India has developed a very unique and distinct way of portraying choice based relationships. The kind of things that go along with these depictions have so far been fairly consistent across Indian literature. It is something I am following and could be important to my project.

3. Dalrymple, William. Nine Lives: In Search of the Sacred in Modern India. New York: Vintage Departures, 2009. Print.

Nine Lives presents an interesting take on travel writing and ethnography. Dalrymple wrote the story of nine people from nine different somewhat obscure or marginalized religious groups in India. His attempt was to try to get out of the way and just let the people's story be the focus. While I will not be studying any of these religious groups, his approach has bearing on my project. The way he presents the stories is an interesting approach to what amounts to scientific data, however it does raise questions about whether or not it is possible to succeed at presenting information from a completely unbiased way and to not interfere at all, even unintentionally, with the data.

4. Patel, Sanjay. The Little Book of Hindu Deities. New York: Penguin, 2006. Print

This book serves as a primer of sorts to Hinduism, or at least their gods and a few other important things. It goes through all the major gods and some of the stories of Hindu theology. All of this directly relates to daily life in India, and also to some of the themes and ideas recorded in Indian literature, even by Muslim and Christian authors. This was a great reference for just getting introduced to the myriad of gods that make up the Hindu pantheon.

5. Hogan, Patrick Colm, and Lalita Pandit eds. Literary India: Comparative Studies in Aesthetics, Colonialism, and Culture. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1995. Print.

This takes a more holistic approach to literature. It considers it historically over a time period looking at how the past has influenced the present of literature to a degree. In many ways it was focused on movements and the historical implications of the British. Interesting, but not quite directly related to my project is where it turns off into aesthetics and that sort of thing, relating it back to cultural impact again.

6. Mohan, Ramesh ed. Indian Writing in English. New Delhi: Orient Longman Ltd., 1978. Print.

This is basically a survey, well not quite a survey, but a sort of prose survey of the origin and current position of Indian writing in English. This was helpful for getting a feel for where things were. However its more than thirty years old now. Things have changed a bit.

7. Ganapathy-Dore, Geetha. "Making English an Indian Language." The Postcolonial Indian Novel in English. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2011. 143-57. Print. 

This essay specifically, although the whole book was interesting, looks at how English came to be an Indian language. This was super important for gaining a perspective on how English is situated in India today. That is basically it, to be honest.

8. Devy, G.N. "Indian Literature in English Translation." In Another Tongue: Essays on Indian English Literature. Frankfurt: Peter Lang, 1993. 117-33. Print. 

This essay matches with "Making English an Indian Language." It is a little dated, but it goes into what is translated and what has been translated. The information was interesting to getting a perspective on what exactly has happened with translation. It helped to further situate the place of English in the Indian context and why it is relevant.

9. Devy, G.N. "Fiction: the Last Decade." In Another Tongue: Essays on Indian English Literature. Frankfurt: Peter Lang, 1993. 97-106. Print. 

This was a survey of fiction over the last decade in which it was written. I don't really know what else to say about it.

10. Joshi, Priya. In Another Country: Colonialism, Culture, and the English Novel in India. New York: Columbia University Press, 2002. Print. 

This book situates the novel in the Indian context. This was exceptionally important because I realized while doing some other research that India may and probably does have other forms of literature that are native while things like the novel actually may be a foreign and strange form. Joshi explores the place of the novel in India. She provides some cultural context as well as information on where it is, or I guess was, in the context of Indian culture.

11. Gopal, Priyamvada. The Indian English Novel. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009. Print.

Gopal is essentially writing a defense for the Indian English novel. What she establishes is that there is a historical tradition and a rich current literary environment in India. This was useful for legitimizing my project as a whole. She establishes that there is an ecosystem of authors and literary works in India written by Indians and that it is robust enough to stand on its own.

12. Bhabha, Homi K. The Location of Culture. London: Routledge, 1994. Print.

Here Bhabha is exploring postcolonial thought. Specifically he explores cultural hybridity. This was very relevant to my project because of the idea of influence and how cultures, specifically colonial cultures, interact. He does not really speak on literature in the way that I am approaching it, but his ideas on post colonialism update and expand what I read in The Empire Writes Back.

13. Bhattacharya, Lokenath. “Books and Reading in India.” Studies on Books and Reading. UNESCO, 1982. Print.

This was a survey UNESCO did on what kinds of books are being read and published in India. It was short and all statistical information. It did not really have any specific examples, but the fact that it exists was interesting. The format does not relate to my project, but it did provide a snapshot of what was going on thirty years ago. This study is interesting to my project not so much in the information it provides, but in the information that does not appear to be in any other study. I could not find anything similar to this anywhere. Apparently UNESCO did not do this again.

14. Chakrabarty, Dipesh. Provincializing Europe: Postcolonial Thought and Historical Difference. Princeton, N. J: Princeton University Press, 2008. Print.

Chakrabarty approaches postcolonial thought, deconstructing the idea of Europe as the center of civilizedness. This book does not specifically discuss India, but it does consider the notion of Europeanness and why Europe is often considered the center of learning and literature. This helps inform my approach to India. By considering Europe this way, it helped to try to orient myself away from always comparing India to the West.

15. Lahiri, Jhumpa. Interpreter of Maladies: Stories. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1999. Print.

This serves as an introduction to Indian-ness and the importance of Indian culture to Indians. It is written by an American and a lot of the stories have to do with Indians not in India, but in America. However, the ideas expressed show how deep the cultural connection to India goes. This theme of being Indian and gaining/losing this Indian-ness is a huge theme in Indian literature. Lahiri was a great introduction to this idea.

16. Lazarus, Neil. The Cambridge Companion to Postcolonial Literary Studies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004. Print.

This combines with The Empire Writes Back to fill out my knowledge of postcolonial theory. Basically it works as background information for my project. It is not specific to any country in particular, but to the ideas that will be governing much of my analysis of what I work with on my project.

17. Malladi, Amulya. The Mango Season. New York: Ballantine Books, 2003. Print.

I read this mostly for the cultural perspective. Mostly because the main character is an Indian woman who lived abroad for a long time and then returns to India again. Following her reentry to India provided excellent commentary on Indian culture and going back to India. The novel takes place in Hyderabad, a place I have lived for almost a year. Following her provided a unique insight into traveling to India and experiencing the adjustments that go along with that.

18. Blank, Jonah. Arrow of the Blue-Skinned God: Retracing the Ramayana Through India. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1992. Print.

This book is one of the best rated travel novels about India. Basically the author goes on a tour of India following the plot and events of the Ramayan to guide the direction of his travel. The reason it is important is because of its focus on the culture of the places he visits. This was another way to get ready to jump back into Indian culture. I also read it looking for stereotyping of India in an attempt to get myself ready to be open to everything I experience.

19. Guha, Ramachandra. India After Gandhi: The History of the World's Largest Democracy. New York: Ecco, 2007. Print.

I read this mostly for historical background. It provides a very detailed account of the last sixty or so years of Indian history. Basically everything that India is right now, he discusses.

20. Keay, John. India: A History. New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 2000. Print.

This history was just a grand overview of the immense history of India. It does not relate specifically to my project, but provides context for when I get in the field.

21. Kinsley, David R. Hinduism, a Cultural Perspective. Englewood Cliffs, N.J: Prentice-Hall, 1982. Print.

This is more background literature. This is a scholarly text discussing what Hinduism is and how it works. It does not relate to the work of my project, but the information about Hinduism will be very helpful in navigating Indian culture.

22. Eck, Diana L. Darśan: Seeing the Divine Image in India. New York: Columbia University Press, 1998. Print.

Again, more background information. This book specifically discusses the place of icons in Hinduism and how people relate to them. This will hopefully make me more culturally aware and better able to understand perspectives.

23. Chakrabarty, Dipesh. Habitations of Modernity: Essays in the Wake of Subaltern Studies. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2002. Print.

In this book, Chakrabarty specifically approaches the influence of Europe in India. It evaluates where India is and how people still conceive of Europe in India. This book serves as intellectual background for my approach to the topic of reading. It is extremely significant because of how it specifically looks at the legacy of European colonialism in India in the present.

24. Said, Edward W. Culture and Imperialism. New York: Knopf, 1993. Print.

In this book Said explores the nature of imperialism and the countries that perpetrated it. Mostly this is historical background to inform how I approach my topic as a Westerner in India. He specifically approaches literature in this book, however his focus is largely on themes and meaning, and not so much on what is popular in India currently.

25. Said, Edward W. Orientalism. New York: Pantheon Books, 1978. Print.

Here Said explores specifically the construction and history of the West's approach to the "Oriental" world. He deconstructs the idea of orientalism and how it came to be. This does not necessarily relate directly to the main focus of my project, but serves as intellectual background to how I approach what the people I interview say. It helps to deconstruct any preconceived notions I may still have about India as technically part of the "Oriental" world.

26. Chandra, Vikram. Red Earth and Pouring Rain: A Novel. Boston: Little, Brown and Co, 1995. Print.

This novel specifically looks at story telling. It is a series of stores weaving in historical fiction about India. Mostly I read this for its approach to Indian storytelling and how the text is conceived. I am fascinated with the idea of oral literature, since it is literature, but so different from the traditional Western form. This book has helped me consider the different things I may encounter or will need to consider when trying to learn more about the place of the text in what Indian's choose to read.

27. Saran, Mishi. Chasing the Monk's Shadow: A Journey in the Footsteps of Xuanzang. New Delhi: Penguin, Viking, 2005. Print.

I read this for Saran's approach to interacting with people. It is her factual account of a trip she took around China, India, and the neighboring countries. She is a native Indian, but also kind of a foreigner. She also travels a lot in the book in foreign places. Her approach to people and how she interacts with them to get information is similar in many ways to what I will be doing in my project. I will be a little more directed, but her casual approach to pursuing the purpose of her trip were informative.

28. Rushdie, Salman. Midnight's Children: a Novel. New York: Knopf, 1981. Print.

This novel is important to my project both for its subject matter as background information as well as its approach to telling the story. Rushdie imitates traditional story-telling styles. I look to this to help inform me a little bit in how Indian culture may approach things. Not that everyone specifically thinks this way, but that it is something from the history and culture of India.

29. Snell, Rupert, and Simon Weightman. Teach Yourself Hindi. Lincolnwood, IL: NTC Pub. Group, 1992. Print.

My project is in English, but I feel for cultural background and helping me gain access to the culture, being able to speak Hindi, even a little, will be incredibly important. I have been working with this book for a few years and will take it with me in the field. Hopefully showing a willingness to learn and practice the language will open doors for completing my project.

30. Chambers, Robert. Whose Reality Counts?: Putting the First Last. London: Intermediate Technology, 1997. Print.

This is actually a book on development, but it is the perspective that is important. This whole book is about involving the local populace in development, rather than just coming in as an "educated" Western power and trying to fix things. This approach has greatly influenced how I approach my project. It has influenced how I conceive of the process of getting information and how I want to interact with people. It has nothing to do with literature or how to work with people to get information, but it is extremely useful for thinking about how I consider the people I am trying to get information from, their relation to the information, as well as their relation to my project and how I can involve them rather than just looking at them as a subject to be studied.

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