Braiding together memoir, reportage, and history, Chaudhuri creates a portrait of Calcutta to explore and challenge prevailing literary and artistic concepts of modernity. Chaudhuri shows the reader a city relatively untouched by the currents of globalization but possessed of a ‘self-renewing way of seeing, of inhabiting space, of apprehending life.’ The reader is taken through green avenues and derelict alleyways; introduced to intellectuals, Marxists, members of the declining haute bourgeoisie, street vendors and domestic workers. The book seeks to bring to life the city’s sounds and smells, its architecture, its traditional shops and restaurants, new malls and hotels. Using the historic elections of 2011 as a fulcrum, Chaudhuri looks back to the nineteenth century, when the city burst with a new vitality, and toward the politics of the present, finding a city ‘still not recovered from history’ yet possessed of a singular modernity.
|Number of pages||320|
|ISBN (Print)||978-1908526175, 0307270246|
|Publication status||Published - 2013|