Diacritics 38 (3):3-21 (2008)

Abstract
Focusing on the sixteenth-century Oriya Lakshmi Purana by Balaram Das, this essay shows how distinctly “modern” values are being explored and elaborated in this religious poem. Das’s narrative develops the notion of a self-critical individuality that is distinct from—rather than merely embedded in—the dominant social structure and its patriarchal and caste-based value system. The LP provides a feminist and anticaste critique of patriarchal behavior and defends the value of the work done by women and others who are socially marginalized. This literary-critical analysis is a contribution to contemporary scholarship on “alternative” or “precolonial” modernities, especially in the Indian context
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DOI 10.1353/dia.0.0063
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