By Swati Chattopadhyay
Representing Calcutta is a spatial heritage of the colonial urban, and addresses the query of modernity that haunts our belief of Calcutta. The e-book responds to 2 inter-related issues concerning the urban. First is a dead ringer for Calcutta because the worst case state of affairs of a 3rd global urban -- the proverbial 'city of dreadful nights.' moment is the altering nature of the city’s public areas -- the death of definite varieties of city sociality that has been mourned in contemporary literature because the passing of Bengali modernity. via analyzing structure, urban plans, work, literature, and respectable reviews in the course of the lens of postcolonial, feminist, and spatial concept, the ebook explores the stipulations of colonialism and anti-colonial nationalism that produced town as a latest artefact. on the centre of this exploration is living the matter of 'representing' the town, illustration understood as description and narration, in addition to political illustration. In doing so, Chattopadhyay questions the very proposal of colonial towns as creations of the colonizers, and the version of colonial towns as twin towns, cut up in black and white parts, in favour of a extra complex view of the topography.
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Extra resources for Calcutta: Modernity, Nationalism and the Colonial Uncanny (Asia's Transformations)
Even the dark, seemingly impenetrable landscape could not escape the scrutiny of colonial authority. Stopping short of a long catalog of atrocities, she urged her reader to imagine what that surveying eye saw. To impress the full measure of atrocity that the Sagar Island represented she had to claim human sacrifice as a practice that continued despite the “vigilance of the British government,” only to repeal it a few sentences later. She “believed” that there were “now” few involuntary victims because the presence of British 4273P CALCUTTA-PT/jr 14/3/05 12:40 pm Page 28 28 1111 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1011 1 2 3111 4 5 6 7 8 9 20111 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 30111 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 40111 1 2 3 4 45111 The colonial uncanny troops must have ensured so.
While the colonial state introduced certain modern institutions that were directly linked to the process of capitalist expansion – the army, the colonial bureaucracy, the judicial system, and the university, many of the modern cultural institutions were created, managed, and patronized by Bengalis. As Partha Chatterjee has noted, the Bengali elite, keen to develop Bengali as a modern language, generated “an entire institutional network of printing presses, publishing houses, newspapers, magazines, and literary societies .
Echoing Mrs. Sherwood, Mrs. ”19 For some, the patterns of trees and pagodas seen in imported china came to life in India with all their oriental splendor, and for others the tropical plants tended in hothouses by the wealthy appeared in accessible profusion. Despite the rhetoric of uncontaminated vision, the European eye was necessarily constituted by a European framework of judging and attributing a land, which they used to understand and describe as this distant corner of empire. ” The narratives are so consistent as to be formulaic.