20 November 2010

Madhu Rye

Since I am not a subscriber to the Wiley Online Library, I have read only the first page of the article “Englishization of Contemporary Gujarāti Novel:  Code Mixing and Style” by P. K. Thaker.  The first page, however, appears to indicate that the writer looks at code-mixing as a device deliberately used by an author for artistic effect.  That is certainly one way of doing multilingual literary criticism.  It is, of course, merely a first step, because the much more difficult and most likely more revealing step is to take what does not look like a text that mixes codes or languages and show that it in fact does mix codes due to either the mother tongue of the author or the author’s own idiolect (or peculiar and individual language that only authors are able to cultivate).  Here is a quote from the article:

“Sridhar, for example, has shown how ‘the mixture of English with Kannada is considered a matter of prestige, a mark of education, urbaneness and sophistication.’  We shall look at the instances of such sociolinguistically significant code-mixing between English and Gujarāti which we find in a Gujarāti novel, Sabhā, by Madhu Rye (published in 1972 by Vora, Ahmedabad).  We shall also try to identify the stylistics implications of this phenomenon of code-mixing when used as a literary device.”

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