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Revisiting Untraded Paths: Literary Revisions of Eighteenth-Century Exploration Journals

Miriam Fernández-Santiago, University of Granada, Spain

Abstract

The present article proposes a revision of the American imperialistic, scientific, literary and historical origins as they were encoded and re-coded in the writings and rewritings of exploration journals. It theorises on the reciprocal influence that the official and the personal, the scientific and the fictional, the historical and the epical have in the production of a national referent as it is inscribed within the American travel-writing tradition. This article proposes an allegorical and literal reading of “line drawing” in its study of texts by William Byrd, Charles Mason and Thomas Pynchon, which merges experienced and reported realities into a complex multi-text.

Tipu Sultan and the Politics of Representation in Three 19th Century English novels

Ayusman Chakraborty, Jadavpur University, India

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 Abstract

Tipu Sultan was the ruler of the native state of Mysore. His fierce opposition to British rule in India earned him unrivalled notoriety in England. Colonial writings usually portray him as a cruel tyrant who tortured Indians and Englishmen alike. This article studies the representation of Tipu Sultan in three nineteenth century English novels – The Surgeon’s Daughter by Sir Walter Scott, Tippoo Sultaun: A Tale of the Mysore Wars by Captain Meadows Taylor, and The Tiger of Mysore by G. A. Henty . In these works, Tipu is painted in an extremely unfavourable light. Arguing that the politics of imperialism influences such representations, this article tries to show how the depiction of Tipu as a monstrous villain served to justify British rule in India. These novels seem to suggest that the British deserve credit for rescuing Indians from such egregious villain. The article also focuses on politicization of Tipu’s dead body. Colonial art and literature constantly return to the scene where Tipu’s body is discovered by his enemies. This article argues that colonial imagination converts Tipu’s corpse to a ‘grisly trophy’ which becomes a sign of British triumph over Oriental despotism.

Unheeded Caveats: Examining Pax Americana in the Light of Tagore’s Nationalism

Abin Chakraborty, University of Calcutta, India

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Abstract

Rabindranath Tagore’s much discussed opposition to nationalism has often been seen as a source of consternating confusion which not only invoked the ire of many contemporary nationalists who interpreted his vision as one of helpless inaction as well as by certain contemporary critics who have considered Nationalism to be a disorienting product of “impassioned myth-making” which falls within the tradition of English liberalism[1]. This paper seeks to analyse Nationalism, as well as other related texts, in a different light, by comparing Tagore’s assessment of ‘Nation’ and Nationalism in the West’, with both the Communist Manifesto, as well as Lenin’s Imperialism, The Highest Stage of Capitalism in order to reveal how Tagore’s explorations constitute a sustained and scathing critique of capitalism, as manifested through the European bourgeois nation-state which is also relevant for this present age of U.S. imperialism and its consequences as many of the crises unfolding around us were presaged by Tagore’s unheeded caveats. The paper also suggests that whatever post-imperial vision we may imagine for our future, they must always be based on those values that Tagore championed throughout his life and which have often been dismissed as sentimental naivety.

Political Economy, Alexander Von Humboldt, and Mexico’s 1810 and 1910 Revolutions

José Enrique Covarrubias

Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), Mexico

Richard Weiner

Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, USA

Volume 2, Number 3, 2010Download PDF Version

DOI: 10.21659/rupkatha.v2n3.02

 Introduction

2010 is a significant year in Mexico since it is the centennial of the 1910 Revolution and the bicentennial of the 1810 Revolution for independence.[i] Next year will also be historic since it will mark the bicentennial of the publication of Alexander von Humboldt’s highly influential 1811 study about Mexico, Ensayo político sobre el reino de la Nueva España.  One of the novel features of this article is that it examines the ties between Humboldt’s famous 1811 work and Mexico’s Revolutions of 1810 and 1910. While Humboldt’s impact has been stressed for the independence era, it has been entirely unnoticed for the 1910 Revolution. By showing Humboldt’s enduring influence, this essay will demonstrate an important connection between the two Revolutions that has been overlooked. While Humboldt remained prominent throughout, the discourse about him varied significantly in the 1810 and 1910 Revolutions. Additionally, this essay will suggest that Humboldt’s influence during the age of the 1810 Revolution was more complex and varied than conventional wisdom—which emphasizes his contribution to the idea of Mexico as a land of vast natural abundance—acknowledges.[ii]

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