AuthorWENTINK, LINDA JENNIFER.
KeywordsUrdu fiction -- India -- History and criticism.
Urdu fiction -- Pakistan -- History and criticism.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe dominant movement in Urdu fiction today is Modernism. During the decade of the sixties Modernism replaced the preceding Progressive Movement which had been popular from the mid-thirties to the early fifties. Critics and authors alike in the fifties asserted that the Progressive Movement had become dogmatic and dictatorial. Progressive writers' stories, they said, were journalistic and written according to a politically prescribed formula. The critics felt that this had resulted in the stagnation of Urdu literature, and they called for a new literary movement. After a short-lived attempt by some writers to start an "Islamic Literature" movement, Modernism began as a reaction against the efforts of both the Progressives and the supporters of "Islamic Literature" to dictate a group-oriented "purpose literature" according to non-literary, ideological criteria. Modernism was intended to broaden the content and form of literature, particularly those aspects of it which had been ignored or actively proscribed by the previous movement. The new movement encouraged an inward turn in subject and a move away from realistic, mimetic fiction towards a greater experimentation in form. The latter included the use of a stream of consciousness technique, surrealism, fantasy, myth, symbolism, and innovations in narrative structure which in Western literary criticism would be called examples of "spatial form." The inward turn in subject resulted in both a "search for self" and a concern for the causes of a perceived "decline of values" in the modern world. The inward turn in the subject of the story dominates in the first half of the sixties; the intense experimentation with form prevails in the latter half of the decade. By the seventies, Modernism had become an established movement. The techniques introduced in the sixties were no longer experimental, but a developed and accepted repertoire which could be freely drawn upon to express a variety of subjects, including social and political as well as "existential" themes. The Modernist Movement began in the cities of Lahore and Delhi with the authors Intizar Husain, Enver Sajjad, Surendra Prakash and Balraj Mainra. It gained strength both in geographical area and in the numbers of authors described as Modernists throughout the sixties, reaching its height in the period between 1968 and 1971. After a period of relative stagnation in the early seventies, during which Modernist literature was described as having itself become formulaic, it has begun to grow again with the addition of a new generation of younger writers in the later seventies.
Degree ProgramOriental Studies