Arun Kolatkar and Literary Modernism in India: Moving Lines.pdf
Laetitia Zecchini is a permanent researcher at the CNRS in Paris, France. She has published extensively on Arun Kolatkar and on modern Indian literature. Her research interests focus on contemporary Indian poetry and on the politics of literature, on postcolonial criticism, non-western modernisms, dalit literatures and South Asian literary history. She is the translator of Kolatkar's Kala Ghoda Poems (2013) in a bilingual edition.
Series Editor's Preface Introduction Introduction On 'selective traditions' and Kolatkar's invisibility Modernism in India: 'Newness enters the world through acts of displacements' Life of a poet: Some elements of context I. Bombay Bohemianism, Bombay Cosmopolitanism The 'city of Strangers' and the 'fantastic conglomeration of clashing realities' The Kala Ghoda bohemians: Dissent, deracination and belonging 'Welcome to the conspiracy': Little magazines and small presses A 'rooted errantry' or the cosmopolitan local II. Marathi and English Cycles of Give-and-take: on Issues of Bilingualism and Translation, Orality and Reinvention Kolatkar's multilingualities: The poet as piebald animal Poetry India is Translation India Bhakti re-sung: The speaking voice, the singing voice and 'Americanese' III. Seeing the World Anew: Recording and Defamiliarizing the Ordinary 'Keep it' 'Look with all your eyes, Look!': the Kala Ghoda stage Turning around: converting, disturbing and defamiliarizing perception IV: From Scrap to Art: recycling and transfiguring the world The art of assemblage: The 'old junk shop', the poet and the rag-picker A malleable world: Second lives, new beginnings and wobbly lines Divine ready-mades: In praise of the impermanent present V. The Politics of Kolatkar I Life Turned Upside Down: Orchestrating and Exposing Chaos 'All laws break down': The jaywalking poet and the challenge of dharma Sarpa Satra: The impossible-to-sanitize ritual of purification Foundational refuse VI. The Politics of Kolatkar II Reclaiming History and Multivocality Voices of History, voices of sorrow: The poet, the storyteller and the unforgetful Historicity against Nativism: Challenging Hindu Nationalism Literature, censorship and the straightjacking of Indianness VII. By Way of Conclusion: the Trope of 'Outsidedness' and the Poet as Stranger Index
A tremendous variety of influences have shaped Indian literary modernity, all of which can be understood through the poetry of Arun Kolatkar. In this first scholarly work of India's great modern poet, Laetitia Zecchini discusses the traditions, figures and events that inspired and defined Kolatkar specifically and Indian modernism in general. Zecchini uses unpublished manuscripts and diaries to follow the conflation of regional, pan-Indian and Western traditions on Kolatkar. She uncovers how poets of his generation became modern Indian writers while tracing a medieval lineage at the same time as they translated contemporary Western poetry. She considers how literary bilingualism allowed Kolatkar to blur the boundaries between 'original' Marathi poems and the English 'translation'; why he used his outsider position to privilege the minor and peripheral and how, like many modern Indian poets, Kolatkar used the present to revive the spirit of popular devotion. Steeped in World literature, European avant-garde poetry and American pop culture, Kolatkar makes for a fascinating subject to explore and explain the story of Indian literary modernity.