Perspectives on Indian Literary Culture
By  V.Y. Kantak

Indian literary culture, this study argues, is not just a mélange of the cultural features of literatures written in various Indian languages. More appropriately, it makes for an integrated awareness of Indian achievements and civilization, manifested in the creative accomplishment of Indian writers.

The volume offers a revaluation of Indian critical concepts and traditions such as rasasvada and sahrdayi, desi and margi, and demonstrates brilliant applications of these formulations on Classical Indian literature acknowledging, nonetheless, their questionable relevance to contemporary writing. A more inclusive rethinking on and restructuring of the Indian critical theory, the study suggests, shall spare us of any blindfold adoption of recent Western critical theories which tend to ignore what F.R. Leavis has called the ‘creative-exploratory’ function of criticism and become overbearingly conceptual.

In equal measure, the volume carries a critique of several major Indian voices including Kalidas, Bharata, Sri Aurobindo, Rabindranath Tagore, Ananda Coomaraswamy, M.K. Gandhi, Raja rao and R.K. Narayan with adequate critical references to some of the towering Western Writers notably Aristotle, Shakespeare and Tolstoy. Seldom has the discourse on the multipolar appearance but indivisibly integral character of the Indian literary culture evidenced such finesse of discernment, discriminations and implications.

V.Y. Kantak , Professor and Head of the Department of English at M.S. University of Baroda (1950 to 1972), was Fulbright Visiting Professor at the University of Richmond, U.S.A. (1959-60), Professor of English at the University of Utah, U.S.A. (1973) and Professor of English Literature at the Central Institute of English and Foreign Languages, Hyderabad (1973 to 1976). Associated with several reputed institutes and organizations devoted to the discipline of Literature, he was also Presedent, All India English Teachers’ Conference (1972) and Chairman, English Board, Sahitya Akademi (National Academy of Letters), New Delhi (1978).

Highly esteemed as a scholar-critic of rare calibre, Professor Kantak was a Delegate to the International Shakespeare Conference at Stratford-upon-Avon, U.K. (1961, 1968, and 1972) and represented India at the International Shakespeare Conference, Washington, U.S.A. (1976). He has published in prestigious international and national journals, including Shakespeare Survey, Western Humanities Review, Literary Criterion, Indian Literature, and Chandrabhaga. As a dedicated and stimulating academic, he has deservedly earned the gratitude of a whole generation of students of Literature in India. Areas of his current interest include the seminal role of Literature in the spiritual development of human beings.

ISBN 81-85753-11-3           1996           264 pp           Rs.400 (hb)