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The dialectic of Maya and principles of narrative structure in Indian literature

Mishra, V. (1979) The dialectic of Maya and principles of narrative structure in Indian literature. ACLALS Bulletin, 5th Series (2). pp. 47-60.

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Abstract

The argument of this paper may be briefly summarised as follows: first, a note on methodology which relies heavily on Marxist- Structuralist notions of the relationship between the "text" and the Real; second, an attempt at defining the "mediated Real" in Indian thought to which I give the title "meta-text I"; third, a look at the transformation of this "meta-text" (which I argue is a construct) into texts "proper" designated "text II" and "text III". At the receiving end of the sequence is the reader for whom all these ("meta-text I" and "texts II & III") are ways into the "absolute Real". The paper goes on to argue that because "metatext I" becomes the "absolute pole of reference" and because as a construct (a "canonical text" in fact) it has already "interpreted" the Real 3 it is in Marxist terminology a "flawed microcosm" and should "behave" like any ordinary text. But the dominance of this "meta-text" in Indian thought and life has been such that it is the only image of the Real which the reader possesses. If this is so, then the relationship between literature and the historical matrix in Indian literature is between one text ("texts I & II") and another ("meta-text I") and both of these are heavily mediated. This paper proposes to explore tentatively the ramifications of this.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Social Sciences and Humanities
Publisher: Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies/Dept. of English, University of Queensland
Copyright: 1979 Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/13462
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