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Title: Constructing the modernist self : nationhood and domesticity in the writings of Rabindranath Tagore and W.B. Yeats
Author: Mohite, Ragini Indrajit
ISNI:       0000 0004 5918 3032
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis addresses W.B. Yeats’s and Rabindranath Tagore’s engagements with identity in Ireland and India respectively. It focuses on the authors’ concerns with nationalism and the domestic literary and cultural traditions of their nations as combined in their constructions of identity in their poetry and fiction. It is predominantly concerned with their work from the beginning of the twentieth century, a point at which they come to address nationalism and nationalist responses to texts with some trepidation and critique. My first chapter deals with both authors’ interrogation of nationalist responses to creative production; and the second with the creative process. I argue that the nationalist mind-set is bound up with their collaboration—the English translation of Gitanjali—and it is this which establishes their entry into transnationality. Despite their determined transnationalism, however, I contend that neither author is free of the nationalism that was a significant part of their contemporary period and their personal histories. The next three chapters examine this concern with production of art and identity through a fraught nationalist approach as it manifests in the primary social unit — the family. Examining the female voice, the male construction of home and the child, I argue that Yeats and Tagore are invested with reconstructing social systems and in making the poet-hero preeminent in their new literary models. Their concern with identity and creativity manifests itself in the form of lineage and inheritance. Finally, I argue that Tagore imagines an articulate poet child as his successor while Yeats establishes creative productions themselves as his inheritors. Ultimately, these inheritances sustain the complex and sometimes contradictory political and creative engagements through which they are formed. I demonstrate that reading Yeats and Tagore comparatively allows one to make transnational and critical the hitherto nationalised valences of identity and selfhood.
Supervisor: Becket, Fiona ; Whale, John Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available