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The Poetics and Stylistics of Nirmal Verma: From the grammar of indefiniteness to the subversion of gender oppositions

Abstract : This paper is an attempt for solving the implicit or explicit contradictions between the dominant views which bear respectively on the essays and on the fiction of the most celebrated Hindi novelist of contemporary India. His essays are often considered as a purely Hindu worldview and the fiction as a Westernized creation (characters, intrigue or absence of a proper story). A sample of Nirmal Verma's aesthetic program within the narrative, as it occurs in his second novel, offers a very good insight, since it is both, implicitly, a philosophical/theoretical program and a practical illustration of that program involving the material (here scriptural) devices involved in the concrete realization of the artist's program (Ek cithrā sukh -- A Rag called Happiness in English translation). I will therefore start with an explanation of the content and formal features of this short sample, then elaborate on its main formal devices by analyzing some crucial extracts of the novels. I will finally relate the results of the analyses to the "philosophical" background displayed in Nirmal's essays, linking his crucial concepts (on time, history, myth, ego, self, indefiniteness, boundaries) with the so-called "oriental" character as evidenced in Said and Nandy.
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https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00753252
Contributor : Annie Montaut <>
Submitted on : Monday, November 19, 2012 - 1:10:37 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, February 19, 2019 - 4:38:02 PM
Document(s) archivé(s) le : Thursday, February 21, 2013 - 11:01:49 AM

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Annie Montaut. The Poetics and Stylistics of Nirmal Verma: From the grammar of indefiniteness to the subversion of gender oppositions. Summerhill (Shimla IIAS), 2012, pp.9-27. ⟨halshs-00753252⟩

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