Comparative Ghalib

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Course TypeCourse CodeNo. Of Credits
Foundation ElectiveSOL2CL1104

Semester and Year Offered: Winter 2018

Course Coordinator and Team: Shad Naved and Mrityunjay Tripathi

Email of course coordinator :shad[at]aud[dot]ac[dot]in

Pre-requisites: None.

Aim: Although a course on a single-author study, Comparative Ghalib offers students a chance to study the textual tradition that has produced the work and reputation of Mirza Asadullah Khan. How does Ghalib work a poem? How do his poems work us? How does this literary past work our current assumptions of literature and culture? Like other Comparative Literature electives offered at AUD, this course will enable students to work in original languages and learn to respond to cultural otherness, which is our own otherness to our literary past. The course will be conducted in Hindi and English, and no prior knowledge of Urdu is expected.

Course Outcomes:

  1. Reformulate canonical judgements about “great writers” in terms of close reading of their poetry.
  2. Reference literary language through biographical criticism and devise a critical view about their relationship.
  3. Apply the protocols of classical literature to our reading of the past.
  4. Describe the reading experience of a poetic artefact.

Brief description of modules/ Main modules:

  1. Ghazal Mechanics: learn how to unpack the ghazal and its conventions (metre, topoi, imagery)
  2. Ghalib Legends: through film and fiction, uncovering the invention of the Ghalib legend.
  3. Critics of Ghalib: reading important critics of Ghalib to learn the genealogy of our responses to the poet.
  4. Ghalib in Commentary: working closely with commentarial styles in Urdu, Hindi and English to understand the architecture of the Ghalib sher/ghazal.
  5. Ghalib in History: an inter-disciplinary module on situating Ghalib’s poetry within historical debates and literary debates around ‘Indian’ culture, foreignness, civilization and memory.

Assessment Details with weights:

  • Commentarial exercise I 20% (early September)
  • Commentarial exercise II 20% (mid-October)
  • Translation workshop exercise 20% (mid-term)
  • End-term paper (2000 words) 40%

Reading List:
Reading List (indicative only):

  1. Ahmad, Ghazals of Ghalib (1995)
  2. Bijnori, Mahasin-e-kalam-e-Ghalib.
  3. Faruqi, “Ghalib, the Difficult Poet” (1981).
  4. Goodyear and Raza, Ghalib: Epistemologies of Elegance (2009).
  5. Hyder, “Ghalib and His Interlocutors” (2006).
  6. Jafri, Divan-e-Ghalib
  7. Pritchett and Cornwall, Ghalib: Selected Poems and Letters (2017).
  8. Suman, Ghalib.
  9. Ugra, Ghalib.