A NOVEL PHENOMENON IN THE LITERARY HISTORY OF INDIA
The novel phenomenon in Indian English Writing is new but became popular very soon. In Indian literature, other forms of literature were quite old as their foundations were laid down centuries back but the ‘novel’ as literary genre was new to India. Poetry, epics, drama, short stories and fables have their old literary history. ‘Novel’ was actually the last to arrive on the Indian English literary scene. It was only during a period of little more than a century that the novel-the long sustain piece of prose fiction-has crop up and taken root in India. At initial level, the Indian English novel has been reflected upon explored and analyzed from the perspective of history and historiography, genre and language, ‘Indianness’ and Indian sensibility with the majority of critics date its beginning back to the mid nineteenth century when the Bengali writer Bankimchandra Chatterjee published his Raj Mohan’s Wife (1864). In India, the beginning of the modern novel as a realistic portrayal of Indian men and women in society and relating back to the European genre as it had evolved from the 18th century onward has been dated back to the late second decades of the 20th century. Indian novels are governed by their writer’s more general and social interest while a younger generation is more politically and socially 32 aware of contemporary issues. In the second half of the 19th century, stray novels continued to appear mostly by writers from the Bengal, Madras and Bombay. A majority of these novels are social and historical, and their models are obviously the eighteenth and nineteenth century British fiction, particularly Defoe, Fielding and Scott. An interesting development is the surprisingly early appearance of women novelists. In this paper the researcher is going to take the survey of Indian English literature. This study focuses only Novel phenomenon and will not deal with the study of Drama and poetry.
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