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Firdous Azim, The Varying Voices of Women and Literary Texts

The city of Calcutta was a hub of literary activities from the mid-nineteenth century or of the time of the so-called Bengal renaissance. This same movement had stressed the importance of women’s education and the efflorescence of women’s writing by the 1870s in Bengal is usually associated with this movement.
Firdous Azim, The Varying Voices of Women and Literary Texts

Firdous Azim

This presentation looks at women’s writing as it came into being from outside the parameters of the Bengali bhadrolok class. Beginning with Nawab Faizunnessa Chaudrani’s mixed mode novel Rupjalal published from Dacca in 1876, I would go on to look at Toru Dutt’s Le Journal de Mademoiselle D’Avers, published posthumously from Paris in 1879. I will be arguing that both women were by location, religious affiliation and mode of writing different from the mainstream publication that the Calcutta mainstream were promoting. As a representative of that mainstream, Swarnukumari Devi’s 1898 novel Kahake will act as an interface through which the variety of women’s voices and their relationship to the Calcutta-based mainstream publishing trend will be examined.

Readings:

Azim, Firdous, ‘The 1870s as a Watershed in Women’s Writing in Bengal: Nawab Faizunnessa Chaudhurani, Toru Dutt and Swarnakumari Devi’ (download here)

 

Meanwhile, do look at this text:
Firdous Azim, Women and Freedom (download here)

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