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Classics in Post-Colonial Worlds$
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Lorna Hardwick and Carol Gillespie

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199296101

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199296101.001.0001

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Western Classics, Indian Classics: Postcolonial Contestations

Western Classics, Indian Classics: Postcolonial Contestations

(p.286) 16 Western Classics, Indian Classics: Postcolonial Contestations
Classics in Post-Colonial Worlds

Harish Trivedi

Oxford University Press

This chapter situates post-colonial discussion in modern critical contexts. It contests any assumption that there is a seamless progression from colonial to post-colonial, either in terms of historical experience or in psychological or intellectual perception. The chapter adds a further dimension of critical distance to the debates, not only by examining the assumption that classical texts are originary, foundational, and essential, but by doing so in the context of Indian culture and its classical (Sanskrit) tradition. It shows how India provides a contrast with other imperial uses of Greek and Roman texts and values, and probes the reasons for this, exploring how the Indian classics and Sanskrit heritage provided a counter-imperial cultural genealogy and also fed, sometimes paradoxically, into modern popular culture in India.

Keywords:   India, classical literature, post-colonialism, Sanskrit literature, imperialism, Greece, Rome

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