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O local e o global na nova literatura indiana (1)

Na Claudia Kramatschek apresenta uma nova geração de escritores cuja produção literária reflecte as tranformações recentes nos contextos social e económico indianos e, principalmente, o desenvolvimento explosivo das tecnologias de informação e comunicação nos últimos anos e a consequente emergência de uma nova classe média com elevado poder de compra.

These social transformations have also contributed enormously to making English, finally, a truly Indian language – it now numbers among the 18 national languages officially recognized by the Sahitya Akademi, the Indian Academy of Letters. And this situation is certainly novel when we recall the embittered debate between English-language authors and those writing in regional languages that has accompanied the development of English-language Indian literature over the past two decades.

This debate was triggered – and at the same time brought to the attention of the West – by a dictum by author Salman Rushdie claiming that Indian English-language literature was superior in quality to that written in regional languages. A cultural war immediately erupted between the two camps: India’s English-language authors felt themselves exposed to accusations of disloyalty, while those writing in regional languages saw themselves being relegated to the margins. At the same time, they were apprehensive about being disadvantaged in international literary commerce with the West, where the enormous wealth of India’s regional literature has been summarily dismissed because of language barriers.

But a younger generation of authors now appears to have emerged in the English-language literary sector whose common development manifests a kind of caesura. All are between 25 and 35 years of age – a fact while in and of itself represents a minor revolution in a country where the aura of the senior writer has always shaped the literary canon. All came of age in an India where access to the wider world was available via mouseclick, and all feel at home within the most divergent cultures – and they play with this intercultural network in their literary work as well. At the same time, nonetheless, they are rooted in India to an astonishing degree, and they write about this sense of connection in new and innovative – and at times surprising – ways. A marked turn toward localism is observable, meaning toward the microcosmos of one’s own lived world, to the history of the individual towns where these authors lead their lives. In literary terms, this return is associated with an opening toward genre literature and toward what might be referred to as the small form. continuar a ler >>


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