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Fighting Cane and Canon

Abhimanyu Unnuth and the Case of World Literature in Mauritius

Author(s): Rashi Rohatgi

Book Description

Fighting Cane and Canon: Abhimanyu Unnuth and the Case of World Literature in Mauritius joins the growing field of modern Indian Ocean studies. The book interrogates the development and persistence of Hindi poetry in Mauritius with a focus on the early poetry of Abhimanyu Unnuth. His second work, The Teeth of the Cactus, brings together questions about the value of history, of relationships forged by labour, and of spirituality in a trenchant examination of a postcolonial people choosing to pursue prosperity in an age of globalization. It captures a distinct point of view – Unnuth’s connection to the Hindi language is an unusual reaction to the creolization of the island – but also a common experience: both of Indian immigrants and of the reevaluation of their experience by Mauritians reaching adulthood, as Unnuth did, with the Independence of the Mauritian nation in 1968. The book argues that for literary scholars, reading Abhimanyu Unnuth’s poetry raises important questions about the methodological assumptions made when approaching so-called marginal postcolonial works – assumptions about translation, language, and canonicity – through the emerging methodologies of World Literature.


ISBN-13: 978-1-4438-6208-0
ISBN-10: 1-4438-6208-8
Date of Publication: 01/09/2014
Pages / Size: 175 / A5
Price: £41.99


Rashi Rohatgi (PhD School of Oriental and African Studies, MA University of Chicago, BSc Georgetown University) writes on world literature. She is a regular contributor to Wasafiri, recently reviewing Poetics of Dislocation. She also writes extensively on Mauritian literature, including “Postcolonial Hindi Translation in Mauritius” in issue 42 of Matatu (Spring 2013).