Consumable Texts in Contemporary India: Uncultured Books and Bibliographical Sociology

Gupta, Suman (2015). Consumable Texts in Contemporary India: Uncultured Books and Bibliographical Sociology. New Directions in Book History. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

URL: https://www.palgrave.com/gp/book/9781137489289

Abstract

This book examines five areas of English-language publications in India: Indian 'commercial fiction' in English; English translations of Indian vernacular pulp fiction; Hitler's Mein Kampf (which commands a significant market in India and globally); Group Discussion guidebooks; and government 'value education' texts (policy statements, textbooks and related). These kinds of publications are generally neglected by academic researchers, which is itself a matter of interest. Conceptualizing his approach as bibliographical sociology, the author explores the presence of these books in the contemporary Indian context – their productions, circulations and readerships – to understand current social trends. The themes that emerge include perceptions of youth, concerns about education, the status of the English language, the book publishing industry, the relationship between public and private sectors, the drives of global and local forces, and tensions amidst social strata.

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