ISBN 9781107051867,The Performance of Nationalism: India, Pakistan, and the Memory of Partition

The Performance of Nationalism: India, Pakistan, and the Memory of Partition

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ISBN 9781107051867
Publisher

Cambridge University Press

Publication Year 2013
ISBN-13

ISBN 9781107051867

ISBN-10 110705186X
Binding

Hardback

Number of Pages 272 Pages
Language (English)
Subject

Literature fiction

Imagine the patriotic camaraderie of national day parades. How crucial is performance for the sustenance of the nation? The Performance of Nationalism considers the formation of the Indian and Pakistani nation, in the wake of the most violent chapter of its history: the partition of the subcontinent. In the process, Jisha Menon offers a fresh analysis of nationalism from the perspective of performance. Menon recuperates the manifold valences of mimesis as aesthetic representation, as the constitution of a community of witnesses, and as the mimetic relationality that underlies the encounter between India and Pakistan. The particular performances considered here range from Wagah border ceremonies, to the partition theatre of Asghar Wajahat, Kirti Jain, M. K. Raina, and the cinema of Ritwik Ghatak and M. S. Sathyu. By pointing to the tropes of twins, doubles, and doppelgangers that suffuse these performances, this study troubles the idea of two insular, autonomous nation-states of India and Pakistan. In the process, Menon recovers mimetic modes of thinking that unsettle the reified categories of identity politics
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