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The Indulekha moment and the Malayalam literary canon: On the literary history of the early twentieth-century novels in Kerala, South India
, Sruthi Vinayan
Published in Aesthetics Media Services
2021
Volume: 13
   
Issue: 1
Pages: 1 - 12
Abstract
This article analyses the politics of the literary canon of the early twentieth century Malayalam novels with particular focus on the impact of the novel Indulekha (1889) in literary history. The inception of novel as a literary genre is widely regarded as a point of departure for Malayalam literature leading to the development of modern Malayalam, thereby shaping a distinct Malayali identity. Interestingly, the literary histories which established the legacy of Malayalam prose tend to trace a linear history of Malayalam novels which favoured the ‘Kerala Renaissance’ narrative, especially while discussing its initial phase. This calls for a perusal of the literary critical tradition in which the overarching presence of Indulekha has led to the eclipsing of several other works written during the turn of the twentieth-century, resulting in a skewed understanding of the evolution of the genre. This article would explicate in detail, on what gets compromised in canon formation when aesthetic criteria overshadow the extraliterary features. It also examines how the literary history of early Malayalam novels shaped the cultural memory of colonial modernity in Kerala. © AesthetixMS 2021.
About the journal
JournalRupkatha Journal on Interdisciplinary Studies in Humanities
PublisherAesthetics Media Services
ISSN09752935
Open AccessNo