Department of Asian Studies
Department of Asian Studies

Autobiography is Another Story: "Lives" in Hindi

Rupert Snell gives a job talk at the Department of Asian Studies

Fri, February 25, 2011 | Meyerson Conference Room, WCH 4.118

3:30 PM - 5:00 PM

Autobiography is Another Story:

"This paper looks at several kinds of autobiographical writing in Hindi – revisiting a genre in which I have previously done translations and literary analysis. The texts included here vary widely, from self-consciously literary works to more spontaneous memoirs by ‘amateur’ writers. Most of the examples were written in the second half of the 20th century, but their narratives typically pertain to its first half and hence show a natural intertextuality in shared themes such as the Independence movement. Just as there are similarities of theme, so are there wide differences in literary conventions, narrative technique, and tone, and my aim is to compare and celebrate these in an exploratory overview of the genre."

Rupert Snell’s published work includes numerous textbooks and readers in Hindi and its pre-modern dialects.  His research interests focus on the poetics of Braj Bhasha poetry from temple and court, and he is preparing a translation of the Satsai of Biharilal for the Murty Classical Library of India (Harvard University Press). His interests in Hindi autobiography stem from his translation of Harivansh Rai Bachchan’s 4-volume memoirs as a single volume with the title, In the Afternoon of Time (1998). Snell is currently Director of the Hindi Urdu Flagship at UT.

Sponsored by: Department of Asian Studies

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