'Strategic thinking for a writer articulates itself as dislike and as allegiance.' In this wonderfully rich and diverse collection of essays, Amit Chaudhuri explores the way in which writers understand and promote their own work in antithesis to writers and movements that have gone before. Chaudhuri's criticism disproves and questions several assumptions-that a serious and original artist cannot think critically in a way that matters; that criticism can't be
imaginative, and creative work contain radical argumentation; that a writer reflecting on their own position and practice cannot be more than a testimony of their work, but open up how we think of literary history and reading.
Illuminating new ways of thinking about Western and non-Western traditions, prejudices, and preconceptions, Chaudhuri shows us again that he takes nothing as a given: literary tradition, the prevalent definitions of writing and culture; and the way the market determines the way culture and language express themselves. He asks us to look again at what we mean by the modern, and how it might be possible to think of the literary today.
Amit Chaudhuri is the author of seven novels, the latest of which is Friend of My Youth. He is also a critic and a musician and composer. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. Awards for his fiction include the Commonwealth Writers Prize, the Betty Trask Prize, the Encore Prize, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction, and the Indian government's Sahitya Akademi Award. In 2013, he was awarded the first Infosys Prize in the Humanities for outstanding contribution to literary studies. He is Professor of Contemporary Literature at the University of East Anglia.
Introduction The Origins of Dislike The Piazza and the Car Park Poetry as Polemic Deprofessionalisation and Legitimacy The Other Green On the Gita: Krishna as Poetic Language The Alien Face of Cosmopolitanism: An Indian Reading of Cynthia Ozick on the Woolfs Qatrina and the Books: Nadeem Aslam and others Ray and Ghatak and Other Filmmaking Pairs: The structure of Asian modernity The Photographer as Onlooker The Sideways Movement Unconstitutional Spaces Un-machinelike Nissim Ezekiel: Poet of a Minor Literature The Emergence of the Everyday: Kipling, Tagore and Indian Regional Writing Possible, not Alternative, Histories Starting From Scratch: Buddhadeva Bose and the English Language On the Paragraph 'I am Ramu'