Interrogating My Chandal Life: An Autobiography of a Dalit by Manoranjan Byapari, translated by Sipra Mukherjee

New Delhi/Kolkata: Sage/Samya, 2018, 357 pages, Rs. 318, ISBN: 978-93-813-4530-6(e-Pub)

Reviewed by

Bidisha Pal

Junior Research Fellow, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT (ISM) Dhanbad, ORCID: 0000-0001-9816-3841, Email:

    Volume 10, Number 2, 2018 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/rupkatha.v10n2.27

Received February 06, 2017; Accepted March 20, 2018; Published May 26, 2018.

Dalit autobiographies in India are the oppositional resistant ‘micro-narratives’ that retrieve “the small voices of history” (Guha, 1996, p. 1-12). The narrative often takes the form of ‘witness’ or ‘testimonial literature’; the narrator simultaneously witnesses and takes part in the events of witnessing. Unlike the Dalits of Maharashtra, Tamilnadu, Karnataka, Gujrat, and Punjab, Dalits in Bengal are the victims of the politics of exclusion in the metanarratives of history and social discourse. Interrogating My Chandal Life: An Autobiography of a Dalit (2018) by Manoranjan Byapari and translated by Sipra Mukherjee is unanimously the first published autobiography of a Bengali Dalit to appear in Bengali as Itibritte Chandal Jivan in 2014. It portrays the journey of a poor, wretched, caste-ridden soul through surrounding socio-political topsy-turvy and tragic upheavals.  Belonging to the categorization of lower caste Namashudra or Chandal, Byapari tends to articulate the ultimate excruciating pain of being both a Dalit and poor where caste and poverty become the prime movers in deciding his tragic fate at every step of life.”I have lived my life as the ill-fated Dalit son of an ill-fated Dalit father, condemned to a life of bitterness” (Byapari, p.4). 

Curating Interdisciplinarity in Literature-Art: a Review of Mukhaputa

Srajana Kaikini

Research Scholar (PhD), Manipal Centre for Philosophy and Humanities, Manipal University, Karnataka. ORCID: 0000-0002-1955-5482. Email:

    Volume 10, Number 2, 2018 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/rupkatha.v10n2.24

Received October 30, 2017; Revised February 28, 2018; Accepted March 20, 2018; Published May 26, 2018.


This is a philosophical review of the exhibition dedicated to Literature – Art titled Mukhaputa (Cover page) held on occasion of the Manipal International Literature and Arts Platform 2017 in Manipal, India. The curatorial strategy of the exhibition explores the intersectional relationships between literature and visual arts at large. The context of this critical review is the recent past of modern literature journals in print that encouraged artists and illustrators to converse with literature and in turn poets and authors to be artists in their own right. Through a reflection on the nature of new forms of art works submitted by various artists to the exhibition, the review situates new methods of interdisciplinary curating which is highly contingent and speculative. Curation, thus, demands a new reading in terms of its role in interdisciplinary creative practice.

Keywords: Curatorial philosophy, interdisciplinarity, literature, arts, illustration, literature-art

Frankenstein’s Avatars: Posthuman monstrosities in Indian science fiction cinema

Abhishek V. Lakkad
Doctoral Research Candidate, Centre for Studies in Science, Technology and Innovation Policy (CSSTIP), School of Social Sciences, Central University of Gujarat, Gandhinagar, Gujarat. ORCID: 0000-0002-0330-0661. Email:

    Volume 10, Number 2, 2018 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/rupkatha.v10n2.23

Received January 31, 2018; Revised April 22, 2018; Accepted May 19, 2018; Published May 26, 2018.


This paper engages with ‘Frankenstein’ as a narrative structure in Indian popular cinema, in the context of posthumanism. Scholarship pertaining to monsters/monstrosity in Indian films has generally been addressed within the horror genre. However, the present paper aspires to understand monstrosity by locating its origins in science and technology through Frankenstein-like characters, thus shifting the locus of examining monstrosity from the usual confines of horror to the domain of science fiction. The paper contends Enthiran/Robot (Shankar 2010 Tamil/Hindi) as an emblematic instance of posthuman monstrosity that employs a Frankenstein narrative. The paper hopes to bring out the significance of cinematic imagination concerning posthuman monsters, to engage with collective social fears and anxieties about various cutting-edge technologies as well as other socio-cultural concerns at the interface of science, technology, body and the society/nation.

Keywords: Frankenstein, Posthumanism, Monstrosity, Indian popular cinema, Science Fiction

What made the Monster? Lack of Communicative Competence & Communication

Taejin Koh

Associate Professor, Department of Hindi, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, Korea. Orcid: 0000-0002-9025-800X. Email:

    Volume 10, Number 2, 2018 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/rupkatha.v10n2.22

Received January 14, 2018; Revised April 20, 2018; Accepted April 30, 2018; Published May 26, 2018.


This paper attempts to interpret Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein from a linguistic point of view. In other words, it discusses why a creature was forced to become the monster with a perspective of communicative competence. The first part of the paper briefly describes Mary Shelly’s family background and talks about linguistic points. The second part analyses the relationship between the monster and his language in relation to the learning process of the language. It also elaborates about the communicative competence. Mary Shelley might pose us a question through the monster’s experience: how his relationship with humans should be based on communication? Then the third part gives us the idea that how this tragic story unfolds Victor Frankenstein’s complete alienation from the society. It seems that Mary Shelley has already warned people of the danger of a lone wolf with scientific advances. In conclusion, the paper stresses the importance of communicative competence based on the frame of the style.

Keywords: Frankenstein, communication, communicative competence, linguistic competence, monster

More Horrible than the Monster: Social Antagonism and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

Ghiasuddin Alizadeh

PhD candidate of English Literature, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran.

Orcid: 0000-0002-4119-2251. Email:

  Volume 10, Number 2, 2018 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/rupkatha.v10n2.19

Received January 15, 2017; Revised May 21, 2018; Accepted May 22, 2018; Published May 26, 2018.


Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein has often been considered as a political novel and an attempt to account for the dire consequences of the failure of the French Revolution. However, contrary to the common vogue for identifying Frankenstein’s monster with the negative dimensions of political and revolutionary movements, a careful reading of the novel reveals a deeper problem hidden behind the figure of the monster. This study is an attempt to read Frankenstein in the light of the politico-psychoanalytical ideas of Slavoj Žižek in an attempt to prove the fact that the monster is Mary Shelley’s fantasy construction in order to conceal the ontological antagonism which marks the socio-symbolic order. By drawing on Žižek’s concept of fantasy and its role in obfuscating the fundamental inconsistency of the Other, the research has tried to disentangle the world of the novel from the horrible presence of the monster, by bringing to light a more frightening horror against which the monster turns out to be a protective screen, namely, the horror of the Real.

Keywords: fantasy; French Revolution; the Real; the monster

Frankenstein and Ackroyd: a Study of the Text as the Monster

Anish Bhattacharyya

Assistant Professor, Department of English Language and Literature, Adamas University.
Orcid: 0000-0001-8104-2752. Email:

   Volume 10, Number 2, 2018 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/rupkatha.v10n2.21

Received January 16, 2017; Revised May 20, 2018; Accepted May 21, 2018; Published May 26, 2018.


There have been several retellings of the Frankenstein narrative since its publication. Peter Ackroyd’s rendition of the same was published in 2008 under the title, The Casebook of Victor Frankenstein. The text attempts to look at Mary Shelley’s narrative from a different perspective, rather than simply reiterating the events in a familiar way. It employs the historical fictional mode of storytelling. This paper attempts to study the role of Ackroyd as a reader, author and manipulator of history. It will also strive to understand the politics behind Ackroyd’s attempted resurrection of Shelley, Byron, Polidori and Mary Shelley as his characters. The goal is to comprehend, how Ackroyd’s voice functions within this cacophony of voices.

Keywords: rhizome, author, reader, historiographic metafiction, discourse, unreliability.

‘Filthy creation’: the Problem of Parenting in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

Debapriya Goswami

Assistant Professor of English, Department of Basic Science and English, NSHM Faculty of Engineering and Technology, Durgapur. Orcid: 0000-0002-6801-0083. Email:

  Volume 10, Number 2, 2018 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/rupkatha.v10n2.20


This paper is an attempt to bolster the relevance of Mary Shelley’s classic Frankenstein by engaging contemporary bioethical discourses on procreation and parenting. It claims that, besides being a celebrated science fiction for the last two centuries, the novel bears pensive suggestions on parenthood. Exploring the ways in which the creature suffers in the hands of its creator, the paper argues that Frankenstein anticipates the need for an ethics of parenthood. The paper discusses the deficiency in Frankenstein’s parenting, as it seeks to reread his position vis-à-vis his creation. In recent times, parenthood and procreation have been a major bioethical concern. By presenting the views of contemporary philosophers on parenthood, the paper unfolds Shelley’s ingenuity in staging the disturbing ramifications of imprudent parenting on children as early as in the nineteenth century. The paper, hence, is an effort to underscore the contemporaneity of Shelley’s ideas on parental choices which she proficiently enfolds in the narrative of a gothic fiction.

Keywords: Frankenstein, Mary Shelley, parenting, bioethics, procreation.