Editorial Board

Editor Dr Ramanuj Konar, Assistant Professor & Head of the Department of English, Sarat Centenary College <sccollegednk.org.in>, Dhaniakhali, Hooghly, WB, …

Contact

Publisher: Dr Sushanta Bhattacharyya, Teacher-in-Charge, Sarat Centenary College <sccollegednk.org.in>, Dhaniakhali, Sub-Division: Chinsurah, District: Hooghly, WB, India, PIN: 712302. e-Mail: saratcentenary@gmail.com …

Current Issue (January 2018)

Volume III Number i

 

The Funky Monk and the Myth of the Solitary Author: John Frusciante and the Meaning of Authorship

Dr Jessica L. Williams, SUNY College at Old Westbury, New York <williamsjl@oldwestbury.edu>

Abstract

John Frusciante, both a solo artist and a member of one of the most successful rock bands of the last few decades, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, has struggled throughout his career with defining himself as a collaborator and a solo artist. The contradictions that arise within these struggles suggest quite a few things about authorship in general. With the concept of the author still fighting its way out of the midst of an engaging academic dispute, and with Frusciante’s recent departure from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, this examination addresses prevalent and pressing issues of what it means to be an author and a collaborator, and whether or not the myth of the solitary genius is in fact a myth or an elusive but real possibility.

Keywords Stillinger, Barthes, Frusciante, authorship, collaboration, co-writing

 

 

(In)glorious Defeat:  Rethinking Humanity’s Victories Against Nature in Literature

Anandarup Biswas, Assistant Professor in English, Shibpur DB College, Howrah <biswas.anandarup@gmail.com>

Abstract

The conflict between man and nature is a common literary motif. Our established ways of reading glorify human courage, resilience, dignity and fortitude even as our heroes meet their downfall and death in their fight against nature. Epic battles have been fought between man and sea, man and fierce animals until the hero’s victory is achieved. With their death their heroism and valour increases manifold. Sometimes our mortal heroes undergo apotheoses into god-like beings. Those like castaway mariners, who are saved from death, fight against all things savage to survive until they are rewarded with a new opportunity to return to civilization.

In this paper I see this reading practice as a strategy through which the hierarchical relation between man and nature is established and perpetuated. Is this a legacy of the Western Enlightenment that has systematically promoted anthropocentric and patriarchal attitudes towards nature? Or does this practice go even further back? What strikes me is that this kind of glorification celebrates mostly abstract values like humanity, courage, dignity, and character but not those qualities that distinguish the humans as a species. These anthropocentric interpretations are so polarized, that they often leave no room for an alternate, ecologically oriented reading of a text. Nature is almost always backgrounded, subsumed by the glory of human achievement. As I explore the limitations of this form of reading practice, I wish to highlight parallel, ecologically informed ways of reading in which human heroes need not suffer from ignominy even as they go down in their battles against nature.

Keywords Frankfurt-school, environment, ecology, literature, nature

 

 

Violence in the City: A Look at the City-scape in Amitav Ghosh’s The Shadow Lines and Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Lowland

Sayan Aich Bhowmik, Assistant Professor in English, Shirakole Mahavidyalaya, South 24 Parganas <jishnuthe1@gmail.com>

Abstract

With the fragmenting of the world around us and the disintegration of narratives of culture and religion and a re-questioning of what constitutes reality, the city-space has emerged as one of the key areas of interrogation and analysis over the past few decades. If previously the urban landscape was taken to be the canvas against the backdrop of which the political, social and cultural contours of a society and state were played out, it has now become a site of power struggle, and the future of the said landscape a mirror and the future of the nation-state. The city I choose to look at is Calcutta (now Kolkata).  My paper, would interrogate the changing dimensions of the city, after sectarian and political violence erupts in the city, as has been portrayed in Amitav Ghosh’s The Shadow Lines and Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Lowland.

Violence, specially, communal violence brings into sharp focus the dichotomy and the problematics of the binary between ‘good’ (state sponsored or approved) and ‘bad’ (against the interest of the nation state) violence.  Violence can bring a city together (as it happens sometimes during a coup or most recently in the case of the Catalunia Referendum), and sometimes fractures and shatters the myth of a unified social, community space. In The Shadow Lines, the narrator is shocked to find the city that he once called his own to have suddenly become so alien. Calcutta has recovered from the gashes of those violent days. My paper would look at the way violence affects the city, its people, how it problematizes the notion of national unity and comradeship and the role memory plays in configuring and reconstructing the way we perceive the city.

Keywords urban violence, identity, nation formation, city-scape

 

 

The Gloom and a Gleam Beyond: Problematising Violence  in Mitra Phukan’s The Collector’s Wife & Kiran Desai’s The Inheritance of Loss

Dr Arun Kumar Mukhopadhyay, Assistant Professor in English, Ramkrishna Mahavidyalaya, Unakoti, Tripura <arunmukherjee2007@gmail.com>

Abstract

Subaltern study has been an important derivative of the postcolonial discourse of ‘writing back’ to the ‘grand narratives’ of the colonial West and some of the modern fictions by Indian English writers tackle among other themes, the disturbing issues such as the condition of dalits writhing under the burden of double colonialism and a resultant eruption of ethnic insurgency. The fictional representation of ethnic violence serves a twin purpose for the Indian English writer in so far as, it helps him/her not only to situate human experience in the matrix of veritable socio-political forces that actuates the nature of existence at a particular period of time in the context of the story told, but also to historicize the perspective used in analyzing how far the issues of contention are related to colonial experience of the state. This paper concentrates on how the writers of The Inheritance of Loss (2006) and The Collector’s Wife (2005) have tackled the issue of ethnic insurgency with their respective strategic stances of recovery and resilience and interestingly, in both the novels, the issue of violence acquires a discursive character from the feminist viewpoint. The predicaments of both Sai and Rukmini, the protagonists of The Inheritance of Loss and The Collector’s Wife respectively, experience how terror and violence trammel up their private and public spaces to make them feel the anxiety of being alienated at home. A comparative study of these novels throws into focus the strategic differences in response to the issue of ethnic insurgency from Indian English writers.

Keywords ethnic, insurgency, violence, anxiety, alienated

 

 

A Few Good Men: The Politics of Masculinity in Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart and Arrow of God

Abrona Lee Pandi Aden, Assistant Professor in English, Sikkim University <aladen@cus.ac.in>

Abstract

This paper seeks to read into the nuances of masculinity in Chinua Achebe’s novels Things Fall Apart (1958) and Arrow of God (1964) and to understand how masculinity plays a crucial role in the power struggle between indigenous society and polity and the colonial administration. It attempts to explore the playing out of ‘hegemonic masculinity’ among the colonial administrators in their home country and how it percolates down to the Igbo people who find themselves wedged between disparate sets of gender dynamics and values in the wake of the establishment of the phallocentric project of colonialism. It will engage with the intricate network of power and exhibitionism which go into the making of notions of hegemonic masculinity that are at odds with indigenous norms and manifestations of masculinity. It looks at masculinity as “simultaneously a place in gender relations, the practices through which men and women engage that place in gender, and the effects of these practices in bodily experience, personality and culture” (Connell 2013: 253) within the ambit of relations forged between the coloniser and the colonised. ‘Hegemonic masculinity’—“the the form of masculinity which is culturally dominant in a given setting” (Connell 2001:17)—can be seen as a key element that perpetuates new social norms which disrupt indigenous norms already in place. This necessitates a critical engagement with how the crisis in ways of “doing” masculinity inevitably leads to the crisis of disintegration of indigenous societies.  This paper will attempt to trace the trajectory of this crisis and disintegration through a reading of the politics of masculinity in Achebe’s novels Things Fall Apart and Arrow of God.

Keywords indigenous, gender, power, hegemonic masculinity

 

 

Politics of the Workplace: Gender and Ethnic Identities at Work – A Study of Select American Novels

Navaneeta Bhuyan, Senior Research Fellow, Tezpur University <navaneeta.bhuyan@gmail.com>

Abstract

Contemporary migration around the world is increasingly driven by job prospects. The workplace as such becomes a significant space of enquiry to understand half the equation of the immigrant condition. Yet this aspect has received scant attention within literatures of migration. This paper attempts to analyse the workplace dynamics as revealed in select contemporary American novels by studying texts by four different writers from Indian American (Bharati Mukherjee and Thrity Umrigar) and Korean American (Min Jin Lee and Suki Kim) communities. The American workplace is a site of much immigrant activity, the norms of which play a huge role in the overall immigrant condition. This paper then seeks to examine whether the sociological theories regarding workplace politics find a parallel representation in literature and if it does, what these representations might imply. It explores how the texts deal with the serious allegations of workplace profiling and whether there is any attempt at challenging/overcoming such allegations. The paper also analyses the politics of representation that leads to the upholding of certain stereotypes while rejecting/ignoring others.

Keywords American, migration, workplace, gender, race

 

 

Resisting Colonial Enterprise: A Postcolonial Study of Hind Swaraj by M. K. Gandhi

Binayak Prasad Pradhan, Lecturer in English, S.K.C.G (Auto/Jr) College, Paralakhemundi, Odisha <binayak.english@gmail.com>

Abstract

Subverting the colonial hegemony in all its manifestations has been the prime concern of postcolonial literature right from its inception. As a counter narrative, postcolonial literature aims at challenging the so-called hierarchy set by the colonizing masters and exposing the colonial hypocrisy. However, the study of postcolonialism is closely associated with the works of certain critics like Edward Said, Homi K. Bhabha, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak and others. But, a retrospective approach to the history of decolonization places some other figures like Frantz Fanon, M. K. Gandhi, Cesaire and others at the centre of postcolonialism. M. K Gandhi who is very often studied as a pacifist, humanist and nonviolent revolutionary bears a great relevance to the study of postcolonialism. Being a voluminous writer, his writings are characterized by a strong resistance to the then colonial enterprise. Hind Swaraj, a seminal text of Gandhi with a strong opposition to the colonial evils, can be classified as one of the important writings in the gamut of postcolonial literature.  This paper mainly endeavours to reassess Gandhi’s Hind Swaraj in the light of postcolonial theory to establish it as one of the foundational postcolonial texts.

Keywords postcolonialism, colonialism, civilization, nonviolence, pacifism

 

 

Developing Listening and Reading Skills through Social Media using Apps

Manjusha Susan George, Senior Research Fellow, Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit, Kalady <manjushaj20@gmail.com>

Abstract

We live in an era where we have numerous possibilities to learn English language using technology and online resources. Most of the time efforts are put in to emphasize the enhancement of the productive skills, speaking and writing, leaving the receptive skills, listening and reading which in reality play a great role in the development of productive skills, untrained. Social media can be effectively utilised for enhancing the listening and reading skills of ESL learners using its potential to engage learners beyond the traditional classroom scenario. According to Chartrand (2012), social media generate meaningful outlet and stimulate learners’ interest which would result in effective language acquisition. This paper is based on a survey conducted among a few college students and their teachers in Kerala on their use of social media for learning and teaching purposes. It also make an  attempt to demonstrate how the most commonly used social media like Facebook and WhatsApp can be used as a platform for improving listening and reading skills of ESL learners at tertiary level with the help of a few apps that can be downloaded from Google Play Store. Listening and reading skills enhancement via social media under the guidance of a teacher promotes autonomous learning as the learner can access materials wherever and whenever he/she wants and learn at his/her own pace.

Keywords Google apps, listening and reading skills, social media

 

 

Non-Traditional Security & Rural Cultural Development by Tribes

Jhuma Bandyopadhyay, Assistant Professor of Education, Chandernagore College, Hooghly <jhuma1111@gmail.com>

Abstract

The Paper is on the study of cultural history of India specially contributed by the tribal people. The present scenario is little different as the tribal have been facing a security threat. The cultural history of India is marked by its rich traditional heritage of tribal, folk arts and culture. Since the days of remote ancient period, the diversified art & cultural forms generated by the tribal and rural people of India have continued to evince their creative magnificence. Apart from their outstanding brilliance from the perspective of aesthetics, the tribal, folk art and culture forms have played an instrumental role in reinforcing national integrity, crystallizing social solidarity, fortifying communal harmony, intensifying value-system and promoting the elements of humanism among the people of the country. But right now these traditional cultures face a big challenge. The further development is on wane due to some security reasons.

Keywords Indian tribal art, tribal security in India, tribal communities in India, tribal society

 

The Theme of Exile and Reconciliation in David Malouf’s An Imaginary Life

Sourav Banerjee, Assistant Professor of English, Mahitosh Nandy Mahavidyalaya, Hooghly <sourban28@gmail.com>

Abstract

Philip Neilsen sees that in Malouf’s works ‘nationality’ or ‘Australian-ness’ are the most prominent among other preoccupations and also that his writings show a consistent concern with the exploration of historical influences upon a present consciousness’. In his fictional works Malouf’s Australia takes shape as a nation composed of migrants and also that Malouf’s Australia is a nation on the move, created and then repeatedly transformed by the process of migration. It can also be said that while in his first novel Johnno, Malouf gives us the ‘flesh’ of Australian exile, in An Imaginary Life he gives us the precise ‘bones’ of exile, of psychological descent, and of a form of spiritual reconciliation is the fictionalisation of the late life of the Latin poet Ovid, who spent his final years as a political exile in Tomis (contemporary Constanta). I would like to show through this paper that apparently though An Imaginary Life seems to talk of Ovid and his exile, in reality, through Ovid’s experience; it also retells the Australian myth of exile. It tells of the experience of the Australian settlers, who are in a state of exile from their homeland England. It is a sense of being separated at the edge of the world, away from the centre of things. And in Ovid’s ultimate acceptance of the harsh land and exiled existence, Malouf’s novel evokes for the reader the need for the contemporary Australians to identify with and have a better sense of belonging to Australia, than just belonging to a second-hand Europe.

Keywords Australia, exile, language, naming, adaptation

 

 

Creative Commons Licence
The works published here are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.