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By Aparna Bhargava Dharwadker

Theatres of Independence is the 1st entire examine of drama, theatre, and concrete functionality in post-independence India. Combining theatre historical past with theoretical research and literary interpretation, Aparna Dharwadker examines the unheard of stipulations for writing and function that the event of recent nationhood created in a dozen significant Indian languages and gives precise discussions of the main performs, playwrights, administrators, dramatic genres, and theories of drama that experience made the modern Indian level an integral part of postcolonial and global theatre. the 1st a part of Dharwadker's examine bargains with the hot dramatic canon that emerged after 1950 and the range of how during which performs are written, produced, translated, circulated, and got in a multi-lingual nationwide tradition. the second one half lines the formation of important postcolonial dramatic genres from their origins in fable, background, folks narrative, sociopolitical event, and the intertextual connections among Indian, ecu, British, and American drama. The book's ten appendixes acquire large documentation of the paintings of prime playwrights and administrators, in addition to a list of the modern multilingual functionality histories of significant Indian, Western, and non-Western performs from all classes and genres. Treating drama and theatre as strategically interrelated actions, the research makes post-independence Indian theatre seen as a multifaceted serious topic to students of contemporary drama, comparative theatre, theatre heritage, and the hot nationwide and postcolonial literatures.

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Extra info for Theatres of Independence: Drama, Theory, and Urban Performance in India since 1947 (Studies Theatre Hist & Culture)

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Yet they also argue that postcolonial literature is “always written out of the tension between the abrogation of the received English which speaks from the centre, and the act of appropriation which brings it under the inbuence of a vernacular tongue, the complex of speech habits which characterize the local language, or even the evolving and distinguishing local [E]nglish of a monolingual society trying to establish its links with place” (39; my emphasis). In short, The Empire Writes Back is concerned primarily with the relationship of the periphery to the metropolitan center through the medium of English, and foregrounds those forms of textuality that are oppositional and counterdiscursive.

In the cultural sphere, the founding of the IPTA in 1943 represented a similar moment of maneuver, aligned not with Gandhian political principles but with the ideology of cultural movements on the Left that were accommodated systematically to Indian contexts for the crst time. The radical nature of the IPTA’s “nationalism” appears most starkly in its unqualiced rejection of nineteenth-century theatre and the culture that sustained it. In a speech delivered at the organization’s inaugural conference in May 1943, Hiren Mukherjee describes the urban drama of the previous half-century as having fallen to “some of the lowest depths of degeneration” because of its dependence on inane middle-class conventionality or its escape into “bad history and senseless mythology” (Pradhan 1: 134, 136).

The dominant nineteenth-century European model—in which theatre becomes an expression of nationalist ideology and progressive democratization, acquiring its “national” features through association with a national language, a metropolitan venue, and a carefully selected repertoire—cannot be translated into Indian conditions for several reasons. First, the irreducible plurality of Indian theatrical forms in terms of language, location, genre, class, and modes of reception precludes the selection of any one kind of theatre as representative of the nation.

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