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Riddles of Belonging – India in Translation and Other Tales of Possession - Fordham Scholarship Online
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Riddles of Belonging: India in Translation and Other Tales of Possession

Christi A. Merrill


Can the subaltern joke? The author answers by invoking riddling, oral-based fictions from Hindi, Rajasthani, Sanskrit, and Urdu that dare to laugh at what traditions often keep hidden — whether spouse abuse, ethnic violence, or the uncertain legacies of a divinely wrought sex change. She uses these examples to investigate the expectation that translated work should allow the non-English-speaking subaltern to speak directly to the English-speaking reader. She plays with the trope of speaking to argue against treating a translated text as property, as a singular material object to be carried acr ... More

Keywords: subaltern, joke, speaking, translation, multilingual, riddling, languages, wit, double entendres, India

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2008 Print ISBN-13: 9780823229550
Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2011 DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823229550.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Christi A. Merrill, author
Department of Asian Languages and Cultures, University of Michigan