Feminist Revisionist Mythmaking: Analysing Kavita Kané’s Retelling / Aditi Dirghangi

By: Dirghangi, AditiContributor(s): Mohanty, Seemita [Supervisor] | Reddy, Vamshi Krishna [Supervisor]Material type: TextTextLanguage: English Publisher: 2020Description: viii, 159pSubject(s): Humanities & Social Sciences -- Agriculture EconomicsDDC classification: Online resources: Click here to access online Dissertation note: Thesis Ph.D/M.Tech (R) National Institute of Technology, Rourkela Summary: The discourse of mythology can be considered as male-centered, which means that mythological stories generally glorify and idolize masculine prowess. Women on the other hand have been portrayed as docile puppets with their roles being confined in as much as playing victims or mute observers, with no representation of feminine prowess or even female nature as such. Thus, mythology as a form of canonical literature is androcentric and since most myths are constructed and read by men (Guerin 206), women’s representation in myths is usually stereotyped, repressed, and generally ignored. Feminist writers have been concerned with this absence or rather negative portrayal of women in literature. Therefore, they seek to re-read patriarchal myths and in the process, they not only represent women from women’s point of view but tend to rewrite the literary canon. This study discusses myths as one of the foremost sites of the construction of ideological subjects and it analyses the rewritings of Hindu myths by the postmodern writer, Kavita Kané. The writer by employing the strategy of revisionist mythmaking has subverted the patriarchal ideology by bringing ‘other’ characters like Urmila, Surpanakha, Menaka, and Satyavati from the periphery to the centre. This study therefore intends to explore the gynocentric myth created by Kavita Kané in her books, Lanka’s Princess (2017), Menaka’s Choice (2015), The Fisher Queen’s Dynasty (2017), and Sita’s Sister (2014), which serves as an alternative definition of female identity. This thesis argues that the modern retellings have broken the ideological frontiers set by the phallocentric male canon and have created an alternative feminine discourse by presenting women within an imagined female community and history.
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Thesis Ph.D/M.Tech (R) National Institute of Technology, Rourkela

The discourse of mythology can be considered as male-centered, which means that mythological stories generally glorify and idolize masculine prowess. Women on the other hand have been portrayed as docile puppets with their roles being confined in as much as playing victims or mute observers, with no representation of feminine prowess or even female nature as such. Thus, mythology as a form of canonical literature is androcentric and since most myths are constructed and read by men (Guerin 206), women’s representation in myths is usually stereotyped, repressed, and generally ignored. Feminist writers have been concerned with this absence or rather negative portrayal of women in literature. Therefore, they seek to re-read patriarchal myths and in the process, they not only represent women from women’s point of view but tend to rewrite the literary canon. This study discusses myths as one of the foremost sites of the construction of ideological subjects and it analyses the rewritings of Hindu myths by the postmodern writer, Kavita Kané. The writer by employing the strategy of revisionist mythmaking has subverted the patriarchal ideology by bringing ‘other’ characters like Urmila, Surpanakha, Menaka, and Satyavati from the periphery to the centre. This study therefore intends to explore the gynocentric myth created by Kavita Kané in her books, Lanka’s Princess (2017), Menaka’s Choice (2015), The Fisher Queen’s Dynasty (2017), and Sita’s Sister (2014), which serves as an alternative definition of female identity. This thesis argues that the modern retellings have broken the ideological frontiers set by the phallocentric male canon and have created an alternative feminine discourse by presenting women within an imagined female community and history.

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