Village life and community,their rituals and superstitions, the sense of belonging to the ‘place’ they live in, the events of history they observed as an individual and as a community, the thread of nostalgic moments interlace the several generations altogether. The past belongs not to Individuals but to the group who constantly redefined it as means to control the everyday present. Today it is almost impossible to read contents in the field of history that do not mention the phrase “collective memory” or its supplementary equivalent “narrative”. Indeed, the twofold manifestation of these phrases is in no way coincidental.The text chosen is Tarashankar Bandyopadhyay’s Hansuli Banker Upakatha, or The Tale of Hansuli Turn. Change of time is inevitable and so is the change in people and their way of life. The “Upokotha” (fables) of Hansuli Bak is a tussle between stagnation and mobility. The author portrays a complex transition in which a marginal caste fragments and mutates under the pressure of local and global forces maintaining a sympathetic outlook to the desires of both older and younger generations. The use of the ‘place’, community and the experience in relation to different generation’s shifts with the change of narrative point of view from the marginalized aboriginals to landowning caste and even a tree or a city space or a barren island becomes the markers of locality and memory. And nostalgia is the dominant principle that binds together the collective experience and memory of the group.
Madhumita Chakrabarty, Central University of Karnataka, India
Stream: Humanities - Literature/Literary Studies*
This paper is part of the ECAH2017 Conference Proceedings (View)
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