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Myths of the NationNational Identity and Literary Representation$
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Rumina Sethi

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780198183396

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198183396.001.0001

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Introduction Narratives of Nationalism

Introduction Narratives of Nationalism

(p.x) (p.1) Introduction Narratives of Nationalism
Myths of the Nation


Oxford University Press

This introductory chapter sets out the focus of the book: the construction of models of nationalist ideology in the cultural sphere. The study seeks to underscore what lies behind the writing of ‘true’ and ‘authentic’ histories of the nation by treating historical fiction as the literary dimension of nationalist ideology. It traces nationalism from its abstract underpinnings to its concrete manifestation in historical fiction which underwrites the Indian freedom struggle. The construction of identity through mythicized conceptions of India is examined in detail through Raja Rao's first novel, Kanthapura. An overview of the subsequent chapters is also presented.

Keywords:   nationalist ideology, historical fiction, nationalism, Raja Rao, Kanthapura

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