Saikat Majumdar examines how the affective experience of colonialism shaped the aesthetics we now see as hallmarks of modernism, fiction particularly.


Genre: Books, Scholarship.

Full Title: Prose of the World: Modernism and the Banality of Empire.

Author: Saikat Majumdar, Assistant Professor of English at Stanford University.

Publisher: Columbia University Press.

Place: New York, New York.

Description: In Prose of the World, Saikat Majumdar argues for a reappraisal of the well-known innovative aesthetics of modernist fiction — as deriving significantly from the impoverished affective acknowledgement and experience of colonial modernity. Majumdar traces the effect of recognized banality and boredom in literature by writers from Ireland and India, New Zealand and South Africa — for instance, James Joyce’s attenuated epiphanies in his short and longer fiction, and Amit Chaudhuri’s diminishment of grandeur and spectacle in the national allegories of postcolonial societies.

Prose of the World thus argues for the banal (as well as the recognized absence of progress) as a shared instinct and state among fiction writers engaging with imperialism, essential to key developments in modernist, modern, and contemporary literature.

For more, see the book’s publication site at Columbia University Press.

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