William Jones- translated Kalidasa to English
Lord Cornwallis- translated Manusmriti and Mahabharat to English
Beowulf- translated from Italian to English
Novel came to English through Spanish translation
WHY STUDY AMERICAN LITERATURE?
1. Multi-cultural similarities between India and USA
2. History of translation
3. Super power status of USA
4. USA is a large English speaking nation, and as long as we study English Literature, we ought to study it from wherever it originates
5. Since English Literature travelled from UK to USA, studying American Literature provides a comprehensive and coherent study
6. Democratic spirit of USA
7. Post war Literature was predominantly American and very influential
8. Exploration and conquests
9. Globalisation and role of USA in world politics
10. Anything that is dominant must be engaged with
WHY SHOULD WE NOT STUDY AMERICAN LITERATURE?
1. English has been a tool of oppression- Lord Macaulay, Masks of Conquest
2. English Literature as a discipline was taught in India much before England.
Courses in India were started by those on fellowship from US.
Indian Literature as a discipline, taught in 1980’s, much after American Literature was introduced
3. FBI policy to set up scholarships and fellowships. US defence, government and education are closely connected- MIT was control room for WW2 and inventor of major defence ideas. US set up library in Hyderabad.
4. Rule by the oppressor cannot be gun-rule, must be ideological- Musharrif
5. Is the sheer magnitude a good enough reason to study it?
Urdu- highest number of primary schools in Karnataka
Should one not learn one’s own culture first?
6. Tokenism, Co-opting
7. We are influenced more by Japanese(Haiku), Latin America, UK, French and Russian literature, than American
8. American Literature is not as progressive as we think- It mainly studies white male writers.
Therefore, did we get sucked into West Anglo Saxon Protestant Politics of American Literature?- Most American Literature is from North American, not the Catholics from the South.
9. US’s primary export is culture
NATIVE AMERICAN LITERATURE
· Obama didn’t mention the Red Indians in his first presidential address. But every hill in the US was named by the Indians. Present names of various places in US have aboriginal roots.
· Avatar- movie- talks about colonialistic personality of US
· Columbus- landed in 1492. Funded by Queen Isabella of Spain. (Now its race for moon. Explorer had to take notes and return and would not be credited until another person followed the same route and found the same place)
June 7, 2010
Buildings on graves
EUROPE- 14, 1, 16 Century AND THEIR JOURNEY TO AMERICA
· Eureopeans were looking for Promised Land. They considered travel to America their Exodus.
· All of Shakespeare’s tragedies were about collapse of monarchy, restoration and hope. People were neurotic with the fear of the collapse.
· When society changes, fundamentalism is first result- Northern Ireland, South USA, Pakistan, Afganistan, Gaza
· New money was coming to Europe.
This led to a changing of class and social structres.
These insecurities expressed through religion, that too an idea religion.
Ideal religion emphasizes on past, rejects the present, and is based on texts.
Rejection of past makes them take their arguments elsewhere, hence colonialism.
Thus, Europeans travelled to America.
· New World was made similar to old- New England
· They identified with Adam and Eve-
· Genesis command to ‘go and rule over the world’ was the excuse to colonise. Hebrew word for the same is ‘raada’ meaning, to take care of
· US has breached every treaty with the Red Indians
· 1776- Independent from England
· 1880- Civil war. North and South split