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Title: A narrative of India beyond history : anti-colonial strategies and post-colonial negotiations in Raja Rao's works
Author: Alterno, Letizia
ISNI:       0000 0004 2670 062X
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2009
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This thesis examines Indian author Raja Rao’s critically neglected work. I read Rao’s production as a strategic, yet problematic, negotiation of hegemonic narrativizations of Indian history, which attempts both to propose alternative histories and deconstruct the ontology of modern western historiography. Rao’s often criticised use of essentialism in his works is here examined as a strategic deconstructive tool in the hands of the postcolonial writer. More specifically, I wish to show how his early novels Kanthapura and Comrade Kirillov resist colonial depictions of India through both linguistic and cultural structures. Rao’s stylistic negotiation is effected through a use of the English language mediated by the Indian writer’s sensibility. Both novels enforce strategies working through opposition. They provide alternative accounts counterbalancing strategic absences in the records of colonial Indian historiography while attempting to recover the voice of protagonist subalterns. In my examination of his later novels The Serpent and the Rope, The Cat and Shakespeare and The Chessmaster and His Moves, I argue that a more effective strategy of intervention is at work. It attempts to disrupt from within the discursive features of post-Enlightenment European modernity, more specifically the premises of Cartesian oppositional dualities, homogeneous ideas of linear time, and the centrality of imperial spaces, while problematising the hybrid and heterogeneous character of Rao’s narrative.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Raja Rao ; Post-colonial writing ; Anti-colonial writing ; Anti-colonial resistance ; Subjectivity and Nation