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Title:Cross-cultural refractions: India in English Romantic poetry
Author(s):Mazumder, Aparajita
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Palencia-Roth, Michael
Department / Program:Comparative and World Literature
Discipline:Comparative and World Literature
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Literature, Comparative
Literature, Asian
Literature, English
Abstract:Creative writers of the English Romantic period often felt the allure of India, for India "stirred" their Imagination. This dissertation explores the question Why? through analyzing historical phenomena like England's colonization of India and the Oriental Renaissance, through considering the literary echoes of India in English literature before the eighteenth century, and through reflecting on the literary atmosphere in England in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
Poems like Southey's The Curse of Kehama, Moore's Lalla Rookh, "The East Indian," "The Young Indian Maid," "The Indian Boat" and "A Dream of Hindostan," Byron's "The Irish Avatar" and "Stanzas to a Hindoo Air," Shelley's "Zeinab and Kathema," Prometheus Unbound, Alastor and "The Indian Serenade," Keats's Endymion, Coleridge's fragments from "the Night Scene" and "Osorio," each relate a personal story of a Romantic poet's cross-cultural encounter with India's civilization. Though each chapter has a different focus, the dissertation is concerned with a number of questions when examining the poetry on India by the English Romantics. What are the repercussions of colonization and the Oriental Renaissance in their poetical works? What are the sources for their Indian elements? What aspects of India's culture have they assimilated into their poetry? How have they done it? What do these elements mean in their own native context? Do English poets misapprehend as well comprehend? What is the new dimension given to the Indian elements as they enter the medium of English poetry? What is the English poet expressing through them?
When the English Romantic poets creatively used India in their poetical works, the India mirrored in their poetry often appeared to be a refracted image of the real India. At the same time, the assimilation of Indian culture gave a new dimension to English poetry. The dissertation explores numerous ways in which the Indian elements, while retaining some of their original characteristics, have been refracted. The chapters on Southey, Moore, Byron, Shelley, Keats and Coleridge are more than narratives on the poetical relationship between English poets with India. They are also narratives describing the process of cultural migration from India to the West and that of the assimilation of Indian culture into English Romantic poetry.
Issue Date:1990
Rights Information:Copyright 1990 Mazumder, Aparajita
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9026264
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9026264

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