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The Subaltern Speaks: Truth and Ethics in Mahasweta Devi’s Fiction on Tribals
Sanatan Bhowal
Price
550.00
ISBN
9789352873661
Language
English
Pages
208
Format
Paperback
Dimensions
140 x 216 mm
Year of Publishing
2018
Territorial Rights
World
Imprint
Orient Blackswan

A study and critique of Mahasweta Devi’s major fictional writings on tribals, The Subaltern Speaks addresses some primary concerns of Subaltern Studies historians, and explores the representation of tribals as ‘subaltern’.

Adivasis today are caught between an aggressive and seemingly benevolent version of capitalism. British India replaced traditional property rights with formal ones; neoliberal India chased them off their land in pursuit of development, dubbed them ‘terrorists’ and unleashed the army against them. Adivasis only seem to appear in recorded history when resisting the state, and their ‘consciousness’, along with their politics, has been reduced to this identity. The story of adivasi women is far more harrowing.

Following Gayatri Spivak’s deconstructive approach, Sanatan Bhowal draws upon some leading thinkers of our time—Badiou, Levinas, Foucault, Deleuze, Lacan and Zizek—to address Spivak’s question: Can the Subaltern Speak? Bhowal focuses on Mahasweta Devi’s ethical representation of the adivasis she loved and lived with, and whose cause she passionately espoused lifelong. He also underlines the need to debunk conventional discourses before any genuine understanding of tribal consciousness can be arrived at.

This book will be valuable for students of Subaltern Studies, English and comparative literature.

Sanatan Bhowal is Associate Professor, Prasanna Deb Women’s College, Jalpaiguri, West Bengal.

Foreword by Shail Mayaram
Preface by Snehal Shingavi
Acknowledgements
Introduction
A Review of Subaltern Representation and Theory

1. The Subaltern Speaks from History
The Right of the Forest, Hulmaha, To the Call of Shalgira

2. Contingent Resistance of the Subaltern
Chotti Munda and His Arrow

3. The Subaltern Speaks the Political
Bashai Tudu

4. The Silent Voice of the Subaltern
Pterodactyl

5. Voices of Subaltern Women
Draupadi, Douloti, Dhouli, Mary Oraon, The Mother of Hulmaha, Shanichari

6. The Small Subaltern Voices
Witch, Salt, Little Ones, Sagoana

Conclusion

Bibliography
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