Desire, sanity and the middlebrow aesthetic: The case of Triveni’s Sharapanjara

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Two landmark novels appeared in the same year (1965) in Kannada literature — U. R. Ananthamurthy’s Samskara and Triveni’s last novel, Sharapanjara. While the former got enshrined into the Indian modernist canon (the Navya movement), Triveni’s work has stayed mostly in the realms of popular literature for women. This article seeks to make a case to read Sharapanjara in light of recent scholarship on popular modernism and on the middlebrow novel, especially the feminine middlebrow. Depicting the chilling unspooling of a woman’s mental health, recovery and relapse, within the constraints and duplicities of domestic space, this novel makes several bold thematic and stylistic forays. The article analyses Sharapanjara as a text whose double vision about desire and insanity, both in its treatment of the subject as well as its nuanced narrative structure, elicits new articulations of extreme alienation and discrimination at the very cusp where the domestic and the public collapse into each other.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)448-461
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Commonwealth Literature
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 06-2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Literature and Literary Theory


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