This paper explores the critical theoretical question: can there be a non western modernity? Through a textual analysis of a Bengali short story Streer Patra [A Wife’s Letter], the ambivalent nature of the female protagonist's modern selfhood is identified. A feminist reading of the text shows how the author Rabindranath Tagore partially fails to transcend his own class and androcentric ideologies. The paper also addresses the question: is nationalism the metanarrative of all Third World texts? Through these explorations the paper aims to show how literature provides a viable mode of pursuing critical social science, the essential telos of which is to unpack irrational contradictions within social and cultural formations, and indicate the potent possibilities of emancipatory human action that is at the same time self-reflexive.
|Keywords:||Gender, Modernity, Third World Texts, India|
Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Sociology, The University of British Columbia, Canada
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