Another Canon: Indian Texts and Traditions in English by Makarand R. Paranjape

By Makarand R. Paranjape

‘Another Canon: Indian Texts and Traditions’ in English lines the improvement of Indian English literary and textual perform over a interval of 7 many years, focussing on vintage texts that have fallen past the scope of the validated canon.

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Human suffering, life, birth, death, sickness, marriage, love, God, I understand. I hate violence of all sorts, especially political violence (42). But Kirillov has no sympathy with such humanitarian views, nor does he have any compunctions regarding violence. Asked how the violence in the USSR and the trials could be justified, he responds with a classic use of Marxist dialectic: If you are weak and on the wrong side – the wrong side for us, as you know, is the weaker side – then you must inevitably go under (44).

To begin with, Kirillov is completely opposed to the British position in the war. At the height of Hitler’s bombing of London, Kirillov is filled with grandiose dreams of the annihilation of the British Empire and of a united and free new world order: And once this bloody war is over, the arch of freedom would span the sky from Czechoslovakia to India – why from Greenland to Indonesia (55). To him, Hitler is an agent of history, God-sent for this purpose: Hitler seemed almost an archangel, and his fire had communist ire.

The portions that concern Eliot are ‘Lions and Shadows in the Sherry Party in Harold Monroe’s Poetry Bookshop’ (17–30), ‘How Unpleasant to Meet Mr. S. S. S. S. Eliot in Schmidt’s Restaurant in Charlotte Street’(144–51). Thus, we see a sizeable material for analysis in the book. But before I begin, I want to make two related points that I shall illustrate and return to later. The first is that Anand’s Conversations is, obviously, not on Eliot alone; hence, the kind of reading that I am about to make of his encounters with Eliot is also possible to do with other distinguished authors like Virginia Woolf or D H Lawrence.

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