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By Jyotsna Singh

Breaking floor in post-colonial experiences, Colonial Narratives/Cultural Dialogues explores the west's dating to the heritage of British colonialism in the context of cultural reports. Jyotsna Singh highlights the interconnections among early smooth colonial encounters, later manifestations within the Raj and their lingering effect within the postcolonial Indian country. She examines the assumptions implicit in representations of colonialism and questions the validity of eyewitness debts and unmediated stories. Singh combines authentic, formal narratives utilized in India and the unofficial, casual debts of dissonant voices. one of the texts thought of listed here are studies of Shakespearean productions in colonial Calcutta and postcolonial, Indo-Anglian novels; 17th century commute narratives approximately India; eighteenth century "nabob" texts; letters of Sir William Jones, the Orientalist; and East India corporation petitions.

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Extra resources for Colonial Narratives Cultural Dialogues: Discoveries of India in the Language of Colonialism

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See Bakeless 1964:25–7 and Levin 1984:51–66. Stephen Tyler (1987:149–70) offers a persuasive account of the “hegemony of the visual” in European modes of representation. In describing Coryate as a historian, I draw on Hayden White’s formulation of the “rhetoric of history” (1978:101–19). See Greenblatt 1991:54–115, for his subtle analysis of the fictions that went into the making of Mandeville’s “identity,” vividly illustrating how travel writers like Coryate were heavily invested in creating fictional personas.

Roe’s journal offers details of his day-to-day machinations to gain concessions for English traders, under the auspices of obtaining a pact of “constant love and peace” between the two monarchs. In it, we also get a vivid, dramatic picture of an autocratic, yet malleable and even amiable Jehangir, of the cold and haughty Prince, of a wily governer, “Asaph Chan,” and even an imagined view of the powerful Queen “Normall” (and the women of the harem), whom he never meets. Roe frequently breaks away from the position of narrator to recapitulate his own interactions with his cast of characters.

One such occasion, when Coryate takes on a mythical persona, occurs in his description of receiving a “knighthood” in Troy: Master Robert Rugge observing that I had taken paines for some few hours in searching out the most notable antiquities of this worthiest part of Troy… in merrie humour… knighted me…the first English knight of Troy… [with] those witty verses: Coryate no more, but now a Knight of Troy, Odcombe no more, but henceforth England’s joy. Brave Brute of our best English wits descended Rise top of wit, the honor of our Nation, And to old Illium, make a new oration.

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