ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Paul L SawyerSubscribe to Paul L Sawyer

An Oriya Village and the Battle of Plassey

Fakir Mohan Senapati engages the reader actively in his attempt to portray the very ordinary experiences that affect lives in Gobindapur. By using varied discourses and competing points of view and an almost omniscient ironic narrator, Senapati brings to notice human subjects who are otherwise on the margins of privilege. However, these different strands of discourse, while appearing sutured, are also incompatible politically. There is realistic fiction in the way Senapati portrays human nature; at the same time, his depictions of extremes in temperament belong to the realm of folk melodrama. Thus, hierarchical structures of domination, such as those in the village, are much to blame for human suffering, yet the use of folk melodrama by Senapati would appear to locate this suffering in a demonically evil person, i e, a witch. Senapati's truest vision emerges where these twin currents appear to intermingle, when he uses language and irony to play off logic against hearsay, science against superstition and learned discourse against plain speech.
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