cover of book

Late Colonial Sublime: Neo-Epics and the End of Romanticism
by G. S. Sahota
Northwestern University Press, 2018
eISBN: 978-0-8101-3650-2 | Cloth: 978-0-8101-3649-6 | Paper: 978-0-8101-3648-9
Library of Congress Classification PK2037.S24 2018
Dewey Decimal Classification 891.4309

Taking cues from Walter Benjamin’s fragmentary writings on literary-historical method, Late Colonial Sublime reconstellates the dialectic of Enlightenment across a wide imperial geography, with special focus on the fashioning of neo-epics in Hindi and Urdu literary cultures in British India. Working through the limits of both Marxism and postcolonial critique, this book forges an innovative approach to the question of late romanticism and grounds categories such as the sublime within the dynamic of commodification. While G. S. Sahota takes canonical European critics such as Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer to the outskirts of empire, he reads Indian writers such as Muhammad Iqbal and Jayashankar Prasad in light of the expansion of instrumental rationality and the neotraditional critiques of the West it spurred at the onset of decolonization.

By bringing together distinct literary canons—both metropolitan and colonial, hegemonic and subaltern, Western and Eastern, all of which took shape upon the common realities of imperial capitalism—Late Colonial Sublime takes an original dialectical approach. It experiments with fragments, parallaxes, and constellational form to explore the aporias of modernity as well as the possible futures they may signal in our midst. A bold intervention into contemporary debates that synthesizes a wealth of sources, this book will interest readers and scholars in world literature, critical theory, postcolonial criticism, and South Asian studies.

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