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Towards an Art of the People

Towards an Art of the People? Aparna Mahanta Selected Stories by Manik Bandyopadhyay; edited and introduced by Malini Bhattacharya; Thema, Calcutta, 1988.

Allegories of the Indian Experience-The Novels of Salman Rushdie

Allegories of the Indian Experience The Novels of Salman Rushdie Aparna Mahanta Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie; Picador 1981, Pan Books 1982; pp 463. Shame by Salman Rushdie; Picador, Pan Books Limited, 1983; pp 286.

From Politics to Literature-A Consideration of Jonathan Swift and George Orwell

A Consideration of Jonathan Swift and George Orwell Aparna Mahanta Since its origins in the seventeenth century English Revolution, political journalism in England has not only had a significant impact on the growth of modern English political institutions but has also influenced the development of English literary culture. This has been a process of mutual benefit and enrichment Political journalism, which functions as a branch of rhetoric in that its aim is to persuade, draws on the traditional resources of literature like irony and satire to achieve its effects. At the same time, being also an attempt at objective reportage of contemporary social reality, political journalism helps to widen the scope of creative literature by introducing elements into it which had earlier been outside its purview.

An Inch Deeper into the Earth

Aparna Mahanta Bertolt Brecht: Poems 1913-1956 editied by John Willet and Ralph Manheim, with the co-operation of Erich Fried; Radha Krishna Prakashan New Delhi; First Indian Reprint, 1981; pp xxxvii + THE idea that artistic excellence is the compatible with popularity has almost" the force of an axiom in modern Western criticism. Bertolt Brecht's work has triumphantly proved the contrary, combining as it does, the complexity and profoundity associated with the greatest art with the direct appeal and ready intelligibility of the truly popular. Brecht has achieved this by redefining the concept of 'popular', repudiating the idea, prevalent among bourgeois critics, of an inert mass vacuously content with a forced diet of pulped literature and canned music, and instead thinking in terms of a class conscious proletariat in the vanguard of political and social change. As an example of intelligent working class response to art Brecht cites (Notes to Poems, p 473) the women workers In his native Augsburg, singing popular 'hit' songs and improving as they went along. Even more interesting was their critical attitude towards the songs revealed in their singing particular verses and even whole songs with a certain irony, putting quotation marks, as it were, round matter they felt was false and unreal and which they rejected. With true instinct they responded to the genuinely popular content of 'popular' song, which was indeed originally derived from folk-song and ballad, though debased in the commercial environment. These women workers regarded literature, even if only in the elementary form of song, not as fixed and immutable, but as practical activity, recreating with each rendering.
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