The question of literary form: realism in the poetry and theater of the 1943 Bengal famine

Bhattacharya, S. (2017) The question of literary form: realism in the poetry and theater of the 1943 Bengal famine. In: Ulanowicz, A. and Basu, M. (eds.) The Aesthetics and Politics of Global Hunger. Palgrave Macmillan: Cham, pp. 57-88. ISBN 9783319474847 (doi:10.1007/978-3-319-47485-4_3)

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Abstract

The 1943–1944 Bengal famine is a watershed in Indian history. Born of a long-term crisis in agriculture and economy in British South Asia and of the immediate reasons of World War II, nationalist agitation, black-marketing practices, and others, the famine responded powerfully to the contemporary socio-economic questions and shaped the literary-cultural productions in its wake. The writers of the famine attempted to understand the causes and effects through their use of literary form. Reading the works of Sukanta Bhattacharya and Bijan Bhattacharya, this chapter investigates how the poets and theater artists spoke of the use of a realist literary vocabulary which would address the suffering of its times, analyse the historical reasons and material conditions responsible for the famine, and help mobilize a trenchant critique of colonialism, imperialism, and establishment politics.

Item Type:Book Sections
Status:Published
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Bhattacharya, Dr Sourit
Authors: Bhattacharya, S.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > English Literature
Publisher:Palgrave Macmillan
ISBN:9783319474847
Published Online:15 February 2018

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