Whose culture is it? Contesting the modern

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review


The activity of judging or evaluating has been a foundational impulse of literary criticism as it has taken shape as an academic discipline. Focussing on the literary debates in Karnataka, this paper argues that the evolution of the criticism of literature in the last hundred years is tied to the emergence in Karnataka of the 'modem' (used here as a shorthand for global processes such as industrialization, the expansion of colonialism, the creation of democracy, of post-colonial nationstates, the growth of mass communication, the rise of mass social movements; and also for the many fine-grained processes of the transformation of everyday life, such as, for instance, the creation of new subjectivities). To trace the historical complexity of literary evaluation' as a conceptual formation, then, is to sketch one possible genealogy of the constitution of Kannada modernity itself.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-151
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Arts and Ideas
Issue number25/26
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 1993
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

This article also published in S. Marathe, et.al. (Eds.) (1994), A way of leaving so as to stay: Papers in honour of S. Viswanathan (pp. 127-152). Madras: T.R. Publications.


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