Traces of the Real: The Absent Presence of Photography in South Asian Literature (Hardcover)

Traces of the Real: The Absent Presence of Photography in South Asian Literature By Bidisha Banerjee Cover Image

Traces of the Real: The Absent Presence of Photography in South Asian Literature (Hardcover)

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In Traces of the Real: The Absent Presence of Photography in South Asian Literature, Bidisha Banerjee brings together cutting edge photography studies, postcolonial and diaspora studies to explore the status of the photograph in contemporary South Asian literature. Playing on the dual meaning of trace - both as index and imprint, a copy or stencil of the real as well as inadequate remains of the original - she argues that the absent presence of photography affords postcolonial writers opportunities to enhance the themes of their novel in ways that the inclusion of actual photographs may not allow. This practice critiques photography's "truth-event" (Roberts) and instead considers the power of photographic erasures and absences in engaging the civil imagination (Azoulay) in the postcolonial moment. Banerjee makes connections between the absent presence of photography and themes of postcolonial literature such as memory, trauma, diasporic loss and mourning, agency and identity, demonstrating the ways in which the absent images powerfully undercut the apparent messages of the text. In contending that the absent image functions as an icon, metaphor, and trace, through the photographic "events" discussed in the chapters, Banerjee moves the focus away from photography's colonial disciplining gaze to postcolonial civic engagements via new materialist understandings and attending to the intermedial aspects of language, particularly as it is mediated by photography.

Product Details ISBN: 9781835537299
ISBN-10: 1835537294
Publisher: Liverpool University Press
Publication Date: January 28th, 2025
Pages: 256
Language: English