Binayak Roy, Esterino Adami


[Abstract: A trained anthropologist, Amitav Ghosh feels disenchanted with anthropology because it reduces people into statistical irregularities and hence repudiates the subject as “a kind of hegemonic voice”. Ghosh repudiates the anthropological assumptions about cultural authenticity and coherence. Hence he advocates hybridity and migrancy. His subversion of the enlightenment concepts of nation and nationalism would seem to align him with the postmodernists. Yet he is not at home in the postmodern anti-humanist ambience. His affinity with the modernists comes through in his abiding interest in the individual’s predicament and in his belief in literature’s life-furthering capacity. At the same time, he strongly denounces the Western brand of modernity which, quite self-reflexively, flaunted its own uniqueness and “suppressed, incorporated and appropriated” other variants of modernity. Ghosh opposes the “agonistic” or “reconciliatory” strand in postcolonial studies and of course Eurocentrism of the colonized. He consistently critiques and displaces Eurocentric discourses of colonialism, migrancy and forms of knowledge production, and situates them within 'cosmopolitan' contexts and histories which are non-Western. His recognition of the interrelation between what were once considered unbridgeable binaries: living and the non-living; animate and the inanimate, establishes the human-nature continuum. A syncretist in the realm of ideas, he conceives the novel as an all-inclusive form. The hallmark of Ghosh, both as thinker and as artist, is inclusiveness or amphibianness. ]


Postcolonialism, Postmodernism, Modernity, Community, Novel

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