'Dark Interpretations': Romanticism's Ambiguous Legacy in India

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This essay argues that Romanticism’s legacy in modern Indian literature has been constructed under the shadow of its colonial heritage. Although the Romantic period witnessed the enthusiastic “discovery” of classical Indian literature by British Orientalists, Romantic imperialism (which went hand-in-hand with Romantic orientalism) played a darker role in instituting a colonial educational system in India which denigrated Indian languages and literatures. Modern Indian literature represented by popular fictional writers from R.K. Narayan to Arundhati Roy registers this complex colonial inheritance by its qualified and often ironic celebration of British Romantic literature along with its associated ideologies of freedom, truth, and beauty.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLegacies of Romanticism
Subtitle of host publicationLiterature, Culture, Aesthetics
EditorsCarmen Casaliggi, Paul March-Russell
Place of PublicationNew York
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)978-0-415-89008-3
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Publication series

NameRoutledge Studies in Romanticism


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