Listening to the Loom

Essays on Literature, Politics and Violence

D. R. Nagaraj

Edited and Introduced by Prithvi Datta Chandra Shobhi


5.5 x 8.5 inches, 392pp. June 2014

ISBN : 9780857421920

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Listening to the Loom brings to light a previously unknown body of ideas and essays from renowned Indian Dalit scholar D. R. Nagaraj, representing his most important writings on literature, politics, and violence. Comprised of thirteen pieces-- the majority dating from between 1993 and 1998--the book covers a period when Nagaraj produced some of his most important insights.


The title comes from a story recounted by the novelist U. R. Ananthamurthy. Once, while walking in Kathmandu with Nagaraj, his companion asked him to stop and listen to the sound of a weaver’s loom that only he had heard. Ananthamurthy recalls saying to Nagaraj that so long as he retained this ability to hear the sound of a loom, he would never become a “non-resident Indian” intellectual. In this volume, Nagaraj’s ear for the sound and sense of things quintessentially Indian is undeniably apparent.

D. R. Nagaraj (1954–98), recognized as a profound commentator and cultural critic, was the director of the Centre for Translation at the National Academy of Letters, Bangalore. He is the author of The Flaming Feet and Other Essays.


Literary Criticism
Culture Studies