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An Ambiguous Journey to the CityThe Village and Othe Odd Ruins of the Self in the Indian Imagination$
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Ashis Nandy

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195683974

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195683974.001.0001

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The City as the Invitation to an Antique Death

The City as the Invitation to an Antique Death

Pramathesh Chandra Barua and the Origins of the Terribly Effeminate, Maudlin, Self-destructive Heroes of Indian Cinema

(p.42) 2 The City as the Invitation to an Antique Death
An Ambiguous Journey to the City

Ashis Nandy

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on the life and work of actor–director Pramathesh Chandra Barua (1903–51), the person who most dramatically symbolized the capacity of the new forms of popular culture to express some of the changing concerns of Indian society. Barua represented, in the popular imagination, the final triumph of the worldview of Saratchandra Chattopadhyay (1876–1938) and the special meaning the novelist gave to the journey from the village to the city and, sometimes, to the tragic, ill-fated, and desperate attempts to return to the village from the city. The chapter also considers the contrasting views of the two greatest names in Indian art cinema—Satyajit Ray and Ritwik Ghatak—regarding the films of Pramathesh.

Keywords:   popular culture, Indian society, village, city, journey, Indian art cinema, Pramathesh Chandra Barua, Satyajit Ray, Ritwik Ghatak

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