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By Toral Jatin Gajarawala

Untouchable Fictions considers the difficulty of literary realism--progressive, rural, regionalist, experimental--in order to derive a literary family tree for the hot explosion of Dalit ("untouchable caste") fiction. Drawing on a big selection of writings from Premchand and Renu in Hindi to Mulk Raj Anand and V. S. Naipaul in English, Gajarawala illuminates the darkish part of realist complicity: a hidden aesthetics and politics of caste. How does caste colour the radical? What are its formal trends? What everyday constraints does it produce? Untouchable Fictions juxtaposes the Dalit textual content and its radical critique with a background of innovative literary routine in South Asia. Gajarawala reads Dalit writing dialectically, doing justice to its particular and groundbreaking literary interventions whereas additionally difficult that or not it's learn as an vital second within the literary family tree of the 20 th and twenty first centuries.This ebook, grounded within the fields of postcolonial concept, South Asian literatures, and cultural reports, makes an important intervention into stories of literary realism and should be very important for all readers drawn to the problematical family among aesthetics and politics and among social activities and cultural construction.

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Additional resources for Untouchable Fictions: Literary Realism and the Crisis of Caste

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The relatively unknown figure of Acchutanand, compared to the well-documented and canonized figure of Ambedkar, presents an interesting intervention into Hindi language politics, which has not been considered in any depth in histories of the period. Modern Hindi—the Khari Boli dialect in the devnagari script—was standardized only in the early nineteenth century, ignoring many other “regional forms,” as Harish Trivedi calls them, like Avadhi and Brajbhasha. Over the course of several decades, a literary canon for this new language was created, poetry, fiction, religious and pedagogical texts, that could freely break from the complex literary histories and literary forms of Urdu and Braj.

The novel’s overriding concern is the plight of the 44 The Dalit Limit Point peasant in the village and the market, and the attack is less on the culture of caste politics, it seems, than on the culture of capitalism. Critics Alok Rai, Vasudha Dalmia and Meenakshi Mukherjee don’t mention caste at all in their readings of the novel and the structure of the novel helps to ensure that the peasant’s “other” is less the Brahmin, or the uppercaste moneylender, than the landlord and the moneyed inhabitants of Lucknow.

24 Three Burnings critical contexts Dalit literature is now a pan-Indian phenomenon, making use of many cultural forms and present in many Indian languages, most notably Ambedkar’s Marathi, where its modern origins lie. Earlier pre-Ambedkarite Dalit cultural production had its roots in traditional folk, often casteized, forms such as the tamasha and the jalsa, and the explicit activism of the kalapathak or Dalit performance troupe (Guru, Dalit Cultural Movement 5). But Ambedkar’s political movement, his insistence on education, the colleges he founded, his own eloquent expressions, and, as many critics and writers have insisted, his narrative of self-awareness and self-respect, produced a generation of young literary intellectuals.

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