Gentle Round the Curves
Selected Essays on Indian Writing in English
The fifteen essays of the volume Gentle Round the Curves are a selection of my numerous publications on the English literature of India, which were written over a period of half a century. They demonstrate the increasing knowledge of a literature whose development thematically spans from the realistically described anti-colonial resistance of the thirties and forties of the 20th century to the now also formally and stylistically diverse manifestations of contemporary writing, such as 'magic realism', 'diasporan', 'feminist' and 'fantasy writing'. At the same time, these essays reflect the controversial discourse about the 'Indian quality' of texts written in a foreign language, which has not yet been concluded.
The essays deal with individual authors as well as Indian literary criticism, the first appearance of feminist short stories and modern English poetry, the view of writers beyond the borders of India as well as diasporal literature, the role of nature and landscape and their earliest pictorial representation from a foreign point of view, and texts that can be assigned to 'fantasy literature'. An introduction by the Indian colleague Professor Harish Trivedi, a bibliography and a rather nostalgic poem about the author and 'his' country conclude Gentle Round the Curves, whose title alludes not only to carefully circumventing the winding routes in the Himalayas, but also to approaching a foreign literature and culture cautiously as an 'outsider'.
Dieter Riemenschneider, Professor of English Literature at the Goethe University Frankfurt (1972-1999), focused his research and teaching activities on Anglophone literatures, and in particular on the English literature of India and African countries. The study of New Zealand literature was a supplement. Since the late 1960s of the 20th century, he has been committed to the scientific study of the literatures and cultures of the countries of the South and was co-founder of the Society for New English Literatures (https://g-a-p-s.org) in 1979. To make literary texts of these countries known in the German-speaking world through translations, he supports Litprom e.V. through his collaboration (www.litprom.de) since the early 1980s, and his publications are primarily devoted to literary historiography and literary criticism. He has also edited numerous collections of texts and translated poetry from English into German.