Widows, Pariahs, and Bayaderes: India as Spectacle Binita Mehta

ISBN: 9781611481242

Published: August 1st 2002

Hardcover

282 pages


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Widows, Pariahs, and Bayaderes: India as Spectacle  by  Binita Mehta

Widows, Pariahs, and Bayaderes: India as Spectacle by Binita Mehta
August 1st 2002 | Hardcover | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, AUDIO, mp3, ZIP | 282 pages | ISBN: 9781611481242 | 6.19 Mb

Land of spirituality, or land of widow burning? Land of fabulous wealth, or land of dire poverty, the caste system, and untouchability? Western literature has reflected stereotypical and contradictory images of India since antiquity. For centuries,MoreLand of spirituality, or land of widow burning? Land of fabulous wealth, or land of dire poverty, the caste system, and untouchability?

Western literature has reflected stereotypical and contradictory images of India since antiquity. For centuries, French writers have reproduced images of India such as the widow immolating herself according to the custom of sati, the pariah or untouchable, and the bayadere or temple dancer, in various forms of theatrical representations - tragedies, ballets, operas, and exhibits in worlds fairs. The examination of such recurrent images of India in four French plays and one ballet written from the eighteenth through the twentieth century demonstrates how these dramatic representations intervene politically in French society as well as further the aesthetic agendas of the dramatists themselves.

India becomes a spectacle, both literally and figuratively, on the French stage. Raising questions of Orientalism, the book argues that it was precisely because the French lost their Indian colonies to the British in the eighteenth century that India became part of the French literary imagination.



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