Along with the clock and the railroad, did the British colonists bring the questionable gift of history to India? Is it true that historical consciousness did not exist in India before its conquest by the British at the end of the eighteenth century? Generations of western writers have claimed this to be true; that Indians in pre-colonial times were indifferent to historical fact and approached their past through myth, legend, and story.
Textures of Time sets out not merely to disprove that idea, but to demonstrate through a brilliant blend of storytelling and scholarship the complex forms of history that were produced in South India between the 17th and 19th centuries. Through a nuanced reading of the rich language of folk epic, courtly poetry, and prose narratives, the authors reveal the divide between fact and fiction in South Indian writings and make a clear case for the existence of historical narrative in pre-colonial India.
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