Jejuri and the Poetics of Subcultural Resistance
The all too apparent recent shifts in the ‘global order’, if we may presume the existence of such an order, has ensured that literature has shifted from its canonic centers to incorporate literatures produced in non-canonic centers like the Third World. The New York Review of Books, for example, recently brought out a special edition of Arun Kolatkar’s Jejuri with an introduction by Amit Chaudhuri. The publication by such a canonic press of an Indian poet as a part of the classics series represents a paradigmatic shift in the literary psyche where the Third World is no longer studied as a pariah under the trivializing labels of oriental or commonwealth literature. Whether or not such a shift represents a move towards an expansion of the canon, or a step towards dismantling the canon, transcends the scope of our argument as it pertains to the realm of pedagogy. Rather, the interest of our argument lies in tracing the rich complexity and layered representations in Jejuri that make for fascinating reading as the poem encodes the multifaceted networks of power and social desire structured by a ‘sub culture’.