Epic Nation shows how the reimagining of the Mahabharata at the height of British domination served as a form of protest and resistance to colonial rule, while also providing ideological support for the Indian nationalist movement. Pamela Lothspeich examines the much debated relationship between Hindu neo-classicism in Hindi literature and theatre, the rise of the Hindi movement, and the development of Hindu national identity in north India in the decades leading up to Independence.
Drawing from a wide range of literary genres including poems, plays, and narrative prose–from the popular to the elite – Lothspeich also discusses the sometimes ambiguous relationship between myth and history, the debates and controversies within the Hindi movement, as well as the complex issue of communalism in the construction of an idealized Hindu past.
This volume comes equipped with a comprehensive glossary of literary terms, an appendix citing Hindi literature based on the Mahabharata (1866—2008), and a detailed bibliography.
Students and researchers of literature, history, and cultural studies, as well as general readers interested in Indian literature and culture.
‘an important contribution on the subject … will be well received by interested scholars and general readers.' — Amiya P. Sen, Professor, Rabindra Bhavan, Visva-Bharati
‘well researched, lucidly written, and intelligently organized ... Lothspeich's scholarship is up to date and meticulous.' — Manju Jain, Professor (retd.), Department of English, Delhi University
Pamela Lothspeich Assistant Professor in the Department of Asian Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.