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Home » Journal papers » Volume 5, Number 1, 2018 » Sharma, S.

Indo-Anglian: Connotations and Denotations
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Abstract. A different name than English literature, ‘Anglo-Indian Literature’, was given to the body of literature in English that emerged on account of the British interaction with India unlike the case with their interaction with America or Australia or New Zealand. Even the Indians’ contributions (translations as well as creative pieces in English) were classed under the caption ‘Anglo-Indian’ initially but later a different name, ‘Indo-Anglian’, was conceived for the growing variety and volume of writings in English by the Indians. However, unlike the former the latter has not found a favour with the compilers of English dictionaries. With the passage of time the fine line of demarcation drawn on the basis of subject matter and author’s point of view has disappeared and currently even Anglo-Indians’ writings are classed as ‘Indo-Anglian’. Besides contemplating on various connotations of the term ‘Indo-Anglian’ the article discusses the related issues such as: the etymology of the term, fixing the name of its coiner and the date of its first use. In contrast to the opinions of the historians and critics like K R S Iyengar, G P Sarma, M K Naik, Daniela Rogobete, Sachidananda Mohanty, Dilip Chatterjee and Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak it has been brought to light that the term ‘Indo-Anglian’ was first used in 1880 by James Payn to refer to the Indians’ writings in English rather pejoratively. However, Iyengar used it in a positive sense though he himself gave it up soon. The reasons for the wide acceptance of the term, sometimes also for the authors of the sub-continent, by the members of academia all over the world, despite its rejection by Sahitya Akademi (the national body of letters in India), have also been contemplated on. 

Keywords: Anglo-Indian, Indo-Anglian, Indo-English, literary history



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