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Monday, November 30, 2009

World Literature

The idea of word literature was represented in a very glorified manner until the emergence of comparative literature. World literature itself had a very English connotation. Roman, French and the English literature dominated the world scenario. Anthologies of world literature had often been used to market the European cannons. Comparative literature to a certain extent created a binary. Literature from South America, Asia, and Africa which were something “outside the imaginations” started being accommodated in world literature.
Edward Saied’s book “Orientilism” made major inroads towards transforming the outlook of world literature. Said’s book “began to travel” and was used for various political reasons. Mr. Pinto said that, it’s how well one put forward their ideas to communicate that makes a work successful. Said was able to do that. On his lecture, he said that “world literature” does not change the syllabus instead, follows a politics of accommodation. The radical questioning the system as a whole is absent. Edward Said’s orientilism started creating ripples in India from 1981 and it affected women the most. Names like Gauri Vishwanathan and Rajeshwari Vishwanathen were put forward, whose ideas were not accepted in Indian institution, and they had to take refuge westward. One of the first institutions to radically question the system in India was Bangalore University in 1996.
On the development ideas in technology, Mr. Pinto commented on Mr. Shah’s essay on ‘internet and women’. Mr. Shah had argued on the relationship between technology and women. He illustrated this idea by focusing on the role played by women when computers were being introduced in the 1970’s and when the gramophones were invented in 1902 (till about a decade only women recorded). Mr. Pinto then emphasized on the use of the word “world” on how it was used to make a statement. He also said that the world “world does not have any materiality”. Taking off from the book called the “World is flat” by Thomas L. Friedman and the optical illusion that prevailed, he traced back to the fall of Constantinople when the two thousand year old silk route was blocked resulting in an attempt to find a new sea route to south Asia. History saw explorers like Vasco Da Gama and Christopher Columbus who stretched the horizon a bit further with their successful attempts in discovering new routes to different parts of the world. With the discoveries of various new places various dimensions of cultures and expression could be witnessed, sparking off the “process of accommodation” in world literature.

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