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The Thought of Nirad C. Chaudhuri
Islam, Empire and Loss

$33.99 (C)

  • Author: Ian Almond, Georgetown University, SFS-Qatar
  • Date Published: February 2018
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107476431

$ 33.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • In this critical examination of the famous South Asian thinker Nirad C. Chaudhuri (1897–1999), a notorious Anglophile and defender of Empire, Ian Almond analyses the factors that played a role in the evolution of his thought. Almond explores how Empire creates 'native informants', enabling local subjects to alienate themselves from and even abhor their own cultures. Through analysis of Chaudhuri's views on Islam, his use of the archive, moments of melancholy and loss in his writing, and his opinions on empire, Almond dissects the constitution of an Indian writer and locates the precise ways in which Chaudhuri was able to produce the kind of discourses he did, exploring how conservative, pro-Western intellectuals are formed in postcolonial environments. A strong comparative element places Chaudhuri's views in the context of conservative intellectuals from Latin America, the Middle East and South Asia, concluding with a consideration of present-day 'native informants' from these regions.

    • Uses the writer Nirad C. Chaudhuri to revisit South Asian intellectual history
    • Attempts to see a South Asian thinker tri-continentally – considering Chaudhuri in Middle Eastern and Latin American contexts
    • Considers the phenomenon of the native informant and suggests how these figures were produced in colonial societies
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "Cultural and geographical deracination decisively shaped the thought of the modern Asian intelligentsia. In Ian Almond's subtle portrait of an intractably conservative, even reactionary, Indian intellectual, we are brought closer to the complex process that produces the native informant as well as the anti-Western radical."
    Pankaj Mishra, author of From the Ruins of Empire: The Revolt Against the West and the Remaking of Asia

    "Nirad C. Chaudhuri is to postcolonial discourse what Joseph de Maistre is to modern European thought: a contrarian intellect that demands serious critical engagement. In giving us the first full-length examination of Chaudhuri's life and writings, Ian Almond is at once scholarly, incisive, and admirably lucid."
    Kaiser Haq, University of Dhaka

    "By deftly placing Nirad C. Chaudhuri in local and world history, in subterranean, unexpected lineages to do with melancholy and book-collecting, and within his own vivid self-contradictions, Ian Almond gives us a shrewd, eloquent, and much-needed reappraisal of a remarkable man who had, on many levels, embraced the entirety of the twentieth century."
    Amit Chaudhuri, University of East Anglia

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    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2018
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107476431
    • length: 199 pages
    • dimensions: 230 x 154 x 13 mm
    • weight: 0.32kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Nirad Chaudhuri and the Muslim world
    2. Chaudhuri, archive and alienation
    3. Chaudhuri, sadness and loss
    4. Chaudhuri and empire

  • Author

    Ian Almond, Georgetown University, SFS-Qatar
    Ian Almond is Professor of World Literature at the School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University in Qatar. A British academic who has lived in India, Turkey, Italy, Germany, Qatar and the US, he is the author of five books and over forty articles. He specialises in comparative world literature, with a tri-continental emphasis on Mexico, Bengal and Turkey. His books have been translated into eight languages, including Arabic, Russian, Turkish, Korean, Serbo-Croat, Persian and Indonesian.

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