We live in an era defined by a sense of separation, even in the midst of networked connectivity. As cultural climates sour and divisive political structures spread, we are left wondering about our ties to each other. Consequently, there is no better time than now to reconsider ideas of unity.
In The Ethics of Oneness, Jeremy David Engels reads the Bhagavad Gita alongside the works of American thinkers Ralph Waldo Emerson and Walt Whitman. Drawing on this rich combination of traditions, Engels presents the notion that individuals are fundamentally interconnected in their shared divinity. In other words, everything is one. If the lessons of oneness are taken to heart, particularly as they were expressed and celebrated by Whitman, and the ethical challenges of oneness considered seriously, Engels thinks it is possible to counter the pervasive and problematic American ideals of hierarchy, exclusion, violence, and domination.
When Portuguese explorers first rounded the Cape of Good Hope and arrived in the subcontinent in the late fifteenth century, Europeans had little direct knowledge of India. The maritime passage opened new opportunities for exchange of goods as well as ideas. Traders were joined by ambassadors, missionaries, soldiers, and scholars from Portugal, England, Holland, France, Italy, and Germany, all hoping to learn about India for reasons as varied as their particular nationalities and professions. In the following centuries they produced a body of knowledge about India that significantly shaped European thought.
Europe’s India tracks Europeans’ changing ideas of India over the entire early modern period. Sanjay Subrahmanyam brings his expertise and erudition to bear in exploring the connection between European representations of India and the fascination with collecting Indian texts and objects that took root in the sixteenth century. European notions of India’s history, geography, politics, and religion were strongly shaped by the manuscripts, paintings, and artifacts—both precious and prosaic—that found their way into Western hands.
Subrahmanyam rejects the opposition between “true” knowledge of India and the self-serving fantasies of European Orientalists. Instead, he shows how knowledge must always be understood in relation to the concrete circumstances of its production. Europe’s India is as much about how the East came to be understood by the West as it is about how India shaped Europe’s ideas concerning art, language, religion, and commerce.
This book is for all those who love Kim, the masterpiece of Indian life in which Kipling immortalized the Great Game, the centuries-old power struggle between Russia and Great Britain in the depths of Central Asia. Fascinated since childhood by this strange tale of an orphan boy's recruitment into the Indian secret service, Peter Hopkirk here explores the many mysteries surrounding Kipling's great novel.
"This is a fascinating, brilliantly written book, as interesting in its description of the author's journeys as it is in its investigation of the reality that lies behind 'the finest novel in the English language with an Indian theme,'" as Kim has been described by Nirad Chaudhuri." --T. J. Binyon, Times Literary Supplement
"In an original combination of autobiography, travel writing, and literary detective work, Hopkirk manages accessibly to tell the story of Kim and his own obsession with it. Hopkirk illustrates how creatively and thoroughly the reading of a work of fiction can shape a whole life's experience." -- John R. Bradley, Independent on Sunday
". . . a reminder of just how absorbing was the world Kipling knew, and how fabulous was his transformation of it into literature." --Richard Bernstein, New York Times
Peter Hopkirk has traveled widely over many years in the regions where his books are set--Central Asia, Russia, China, India, Pakistan, and the Middle East. His nearly twenty years with The Times included work as an Asian affairs specialist. His previous books include The Great Game, Foreign Devils on the Silk Road, Trespassers on the Roof of the World, Setting the East Ablaze, and Our Secret Service East of Constantinople. His works have been translated into twelve languages.
The Rhetoric of English India
Sara Suleri Goodyear University of Chicago Press, 1992 Library of Congress PR9484.3.S85 1992 | Dewey Decimal 820.93254
Tracing a genealogy of colonial discourse, Suleri focuses on paradigmatic moments in the multiple stories generated by the British colonization of the Indian subcontinent. Both the literature of imperialism and its postcolonial aftermath emerge here as a series of guilty transactions between two cultures that are equally evasive and uncertain of their own authority.
"A dense, witty, and richly allusive book . . . an extremely valuable contribution to postcolonial cultural studies as well as to the whole area of literary criticism."—Jean Sudrann, Choice
Spanning nearly two and a half centuries of English literature about India, Under Western Eyes traces the development of an imperial discourse that governed the English view of India well into the twentieth century. Narrating this history from its Reformation beginnings to its Victorian consolidation, Balachandra Rajan tracks this imperial presence through a wide range of literary and ideological sites. In so doing, he explores from a postcolonial vantage point collusions of gender, commerce, and empire—while revealing the tensions, self-deceptions, and conflicts at work within the English imperial design. Rajan begins with the Portuguese poet Camões, whose poem celebrating Vasco da Gama’s passage to India becomes, according to its eighteenth-century English translator, the epic of those who would possess India. He closely examines Milton’s treatment of the Orient and Dryden’s Aureng-Zebe, the first English literary work on an Indian subject. Texts by Shelley, Southey, Mill, and Macaulay, among others, come under careful scrutiny, as does Hegel’s significant impact on English imperial discourse. Comparing the initial English representation of its actions in India (as a matter of commerce, not conquest) and its contemporaneous treatment of Ireland, Rajan exposes contradictions that shed new light on the English construction of a subaltern India.
For centuries, India has captured our imagination. Far more than a mere geographical presence, India is also an imaginative construct shaped by competing cultures, emotions, and ideologies. In Whose India? Teresa Hubel examines literary and historical texts by the British and Indian writers who gave meaning to the construct “India” during the final decades of the Empire. Feminist and postcolonial in its approach, this work describes the contest between British imperialists and Indian nationalists at that historical moment when India sought to achieve its independence; that is, when the definition, acquisition, and ownership of India was most vehemently at stake. Hubel collapses the boundary between literature and history by emphasizing the selected nature of the “facts” that comprise historical texts, and by demonstrating the historicity of fiction. In analyzing the orthodox construction of the British/Indian encounter, Hubel calls into question assumptions about the end of nationalism implicit in mainstream histories and fiction, which generally describe a battleground on which only ruling-class Indians and British meet. Marginalized texts by women, untouchables, and overt imperialists alike are, therefore, examined alongside the well-known work of figures such as Rudyard Kipling, Jawaharlal Nehru, E. M. Forster, and Mahatma Gandhi. In Whose India? discursive ownership and resistance to ownership are mutually constructing categories. As a result, the account of Indian nationalism and British imperialism that emerges is much more complicated, multivocal, and even more contradictory than previous studies have imagined. Of interest to students and scholars engaged in literary, historical, colonial/postcolonial, subaltern, and Indian studies, Whose India? will also attract readers concerned with gender issues and the canonization of texts.