Understanding Maniprav lam , the Poetry of Kerala, India. A New Historicist Approach

Author: James, Siby
This work examines literature’s inter-textuality with history and the discursive construction of language, sexuality and geopolitical space. It represents the first effort to elucidate the conventional essentialist notions regarding the archive of Maniprav lam, a hybrid language of Malayalam and Sanskrit, which was the dominant mode of literary production in Kerala from twelfth to fifteenth century A.D.


“[The author] does not look at literary texts or even at language but goes beyond to look at other arts as well. Thus he deploys Maniprav?lam as an inclusive term to characterize discursive strategies that constituted language, sexuality, and nationalism. He looks at the construction of the woman within the framework of a dominant linguistic/cultural ideology and the emerging ideas of a nation.” – Prof. G.J.V. Prasad, Jawaharlal Nehru University

“. . . represents fine critical scholarship on an area of knowledge – the literature of medieval Kerala – that is generally treated in a somewhat cavalier fashion. The theoretical sophistication with which the author approaches his object indeed is commendable.” – Prof. P. P. Raveendran, Mahatma University

“. . . will open up new avenues not only in a more lucid understanding of Maniprav?lam but also in the need and possibility of radical reworkings of the discursive formations of the period in which Maniprav?lam held sway. - Prof. S. Nagesh, St. Joseph’s College

Table of Contents

Foreword Dr. GJV Prasad
1. Textualizing the History of Kerala
1.1 Into Theory
1.2 Text as History
2. The Language
3. The Lass
4. The Land
5. Historicizing Maniprav?lam
5.1 History as Text
5.2 Out of Theory