After the Three Eyes

Author: Anway Mukhopadhyay
Pages: 76
Year of Publication: 2017
Price: Rs 250
ISBN: 978-93-5045-169-4 (9789350451694)

About the Author:
Anway Mukhopadhyay is an Assistant Professor in the Department of English and Culture Studies, the University of Burdwan. Previously, he was an Assistant Professor in the Department of English, Banaras Hindu University (BHU). Educated at Jadavpur University and BHU, Mukhopadhyay has authored four academic books, three published in Germany and one in the UK. He has also co-edited a book on fiction studies, published in New Delhi. His critical and creative writings have appeared in noted journals in India, Australia and the USA. He has presented papers at various conferences in India and abroad, and has contributed chapters to several edited volumes. He has authored a “lyrical epic”, Indrana: The Daughter of Zeus. Winner of institutional and state-level awards for his academic and other achievements, Mukhopadhyay has also received the Indira Gandhi Priyadarshini Award, conferred by the International Business Council in 2016. His documentary film Saarasvati: The Daughters of Sarasvati, on women’s Sanskritic education in an institution in Varanasi, made with the Start-up Grant awarded by BHU to him, was screened at BHU and is available on YouTube.

About the Book:

In his preface to the book Mukhopadhyay writes:

Literature can cast as possible what we consider to be impossible in historical “reality”. Hence, it produces possible, alternative – rather than “factual” – realities.  That is what I have attempted to do in this book. Krishnananda Agamvagisha, the great tantric scholar who, as the legend goes, first conceptualized and created the form of Kali that is worshipped today, features prominently in this book. However, the legends surrounding him have been radically reworked so as to create a fictional world of precolonial Bengal that is hyphenated to but not totally conditioned by the “historic facts”. In the same way, Joseph, the “maker” of the City of Kali in this book, is both like and unlike Job Charnock who was the father of the city of Calcutta. This book presents Joseph as involved in such a series of events as were probably unthinkable in the life of Charnock. Joseph becomes associated with the thuggees who were the nightmare of the early colonizers in Bengal. Here, literary possibility transcends historical impossibility. I would unequivocally proclaim that though Joseph appears to be similar to the historical Charnock in some way, he is not Charnock at all. He exists only in the fictional world conjured up here, though probably he too is hyphenated to the history of early colonialism in Bengal. And finally, it goes without saying, the City of Kali in the present work is and is not Calcutta/Kolkata. The landscape of the mind and the landscape of the “material” world crisscross sometimes, overlap too, but ultimately remain different. It is in this difference that a writer lights up his lamp. It is this difference which is the empty temple between history and imagination, fact and fiction, the possible and the impossible. The emptiness of this temple is more productive, more pregnant than the crowded temples of history which are circumscribed by the sadness produced by the limiting boundaries of “possibility”. I have created connections between different events or issues in the history of Bengal which are unconnected in written and even oral history. It is like a mischievous game of drawing connecting lines between poles that are unconnected and seen as non-linkable.”

Preface / 9

Vision of a Tongue / 11
The City of the Goddess / 33
Mother Water / 55
Epilogue: The Crescent Moon of Kali / 71

Glossary / 75

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