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Title: Fictions of the postcolonial city : reading Bombay-Mumbai as the 'Locus Classicus' of modernity in India
Author: Ghose, Ipshita
ISNI:       0000 0004 2704 7933
Awarding Body: University of Kent
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2011
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Fictions of the Postcolonial City studies representations of the city of Bombay-Mumbai as a locus of modernity in urban novels, written by primarily Indian authors writing in English. This thesis documents the prolific literary output that has emerged from the postcolonial city in the aftermath of the Emergency in India, and focuses specifically on the forceful nature of the urban sphere which offers alternative discourses of modernity to the prevalent nationalist version. The spectral presence of a colonial past which shadows many aspects of the city's thriving present is both acknowledged and disturbed in the many works of fiction and theoretical perspectives which I examine. The prominence of Bombay-Mumbai as a hub of commerciality, culture and cosmopolitanism, its eclectic and interpolative blend of traditions and modern practices, its infinitely capacious nature which accommodates an ever-increasing influx of migrants, the provincial politics which has tainted the city's secular repute and fuelled inter-community conflicts, the gendered spaces of the city, and the visual codes which circumscribe the urban sphere, are extensively analyzed in the course of this thesis. I argue that the contemporary city of Bombay-Mumbai has achieved literary prominence in its postcolonial and global stagings of modernity and has superseded both the Indian nation and other major metropolitan centres to form the principal landscape against which this modernity is played out. The writers discussed in this study are Salman Rushdie, Rohinton Mistry, Anita Desai, Vikram Chandra, Suketu Mehta, Leslie Forbes, Shashi Deshpande, and Thrity Umrigar.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: PR English literature