Politics and Poetics of Authenticity: A Cultural Genealogy of Sinhala Nationalism Price: $65.00 $19.23 (as of 20/02/2019 03:47 PST- Details)

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What is the role of cultural authenticity within the making of nations? Much scholarly and popular remark on nationalism dismisses authenticity as a romantic fantasy or, worse, a deliberately constructed mythology used for political manipulation. The Politics and Poetics of Authenticity places authenticity on the heart of Sinhala nationalism in late-nineteenth and twentieth-century Sri Lanka. It argues that the eagerness for the “real” or the “authentic” has played a significant role in shaping nationalist thinking and argues for an empathetic yet vital engagement with the speculation of authenticity.

Through a series of fine-grained and historically grounded analyses of the writings of individual figures central to the making of Sinhala nationalist ideology the book demonstrates authenticity’s wealthy and varied presence in Sri Lankan public life and its key role in working out postcolonial nationalism in Sri Lanka and somewhere else in South Asia and the world. It also explores how notions of authenticity shape certain strands of postcolonial criticism and offers a way of questioning the character of the nation as a unit of analysis but on the same time critically explore the deep imprint of nations and nationalisms on people’s lives.

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