This essay will explore the presence of Germany as a key trope of Bengali nationalist discourse in the late nineteenth century and the early twentieth. It will problematize the exhaustiveness of a conventional spectrum of interpretation in the analysis of colonial intellectual history that has been defined at one extreme by the cultural violence of colonial interpellation and at the other by a hermeneutic conception of authentic intercultural encounter across the limits of great traditions. When Bengalis actually began to interact directly with Germans and German thought, it was an encounter whose parameters had already been deeply determined in the course of the preceding forty or fifty years. But I shall also argue that this appeal to the trope of Germany emerged from within a more complex, multilateral configuration in which “Germany” was itself a key figure of Victorian discourses in Britain itself.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cultural Studies
- Sociology and Political Science