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The First World WarLiterature, Culture, Modernity$
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Santanu Das and Kate McLoughlin

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780197266267

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197266267.001.0001

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Entangled Emotions

Entangled Emotions

Race, Encounters and Anti-Colonial Cosmopolitanism

Chapter:
(p.240) 12 Entangled Emotions
Source:
The First World War
Author(s):

Santanu Das

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197266267.003.0012

Undivided India contributed to the First World War more than one million men who served in places as diverse as France, Mesopotamia and East Africa and forged a remarkable range of encounters across the lines of race, religion and nationality. This essay investigates the fraught inner histories of these encounters – their affective, experiential and representational structures – through a range of archival, historical and literary material, as produced by Indian combatant and civilian writers, including Mulk Raj Anand and Rabindranath Tagore. Focusing on three kinds of encounters – behind the battlefield of the Western Front, in a hospital in Mesopotamia, and a series of wartime lectures delivered in the United States – it reflects on the role of the ‘literary’ in such cross-cultural encounters and their representations, and how such moments and processes at once expand our understandings of a more ‘global’ war and put pressure on conventional understandings of ideas of ‘modernity’ and ‘cosmopolitanism’.

Keywords:   India, cosmopolitanism, modernity, encounter, Rabindranath Tagore, Mulk Raj Anand, Mesopotamia

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