book excerptise:   a book unexamined is not worth having

Longman anthology of world literature by women, 1875-1975

Marian (ed.) Arkin and Barbara Shollar (ed.)

Arkin, Marian (ed.); Barbara Shollar (ed.);

Longman anthology of world literature by women, 1875-1975

Longman, 1989, 1274 pages

ISBN 0582285593, 9780582285590

topics: |  poetry | gender | anthology | women

Among a wave3 of early texts that attempt to integrate wonen's writing
across the globe, including Bankier et al's
The Other Voice: Twentieth-Century Women's Poetry in Translation (1976)
and Cosman, Keefe and Weaver's [cosman-1978-penguin-Book-of|Penguin Book of Women Poets]]
(1978) (both of these for poetry only).  Another book
covering global writing by women (for children) is Neil Philip's
It's a Woman's World, (2000).

As in any attempt at creating a global anthology of literature, due to
access to originals and translations, European / western authors get much
broader space.  The book is divided into 14 regions, of which 9 are from
eurocentric cultures.  The other 5 regions which cover 3/4ths of the
world's people, are also skimpier in their coverage.  Several authors have
multiple geographic associations, though some affiliations, such as Doris
Lessing (Rhodesia/UK) or Sara Jeanette Duncan (Canada/India) seem a bit
suspect.  (see contents below for more details)

Compiled by an editorial board with Susie Tharu (India) the only non-US
affliation.  Others are: Katherine Carlitz (China), Phyllis Lyons (Japan),
Mona Mikhail (Middle East). Neil Lazarus (Africa).


Ethiopia, Anonymous 19th c : Trousers of Wind 1

Trousers of wind and buttons of hail,
A lump of Shoa earth, at Gondar nothing left;
A hyena bearing meat, led by a leather thong;
Some water in a glass left standing by the fire;
A measure of water thrown on the hearth;
A horse of mist and a swollen ford;
Useless for anything, useful to no one;
Why am I in love with such a man as he?
	tr. from Amharic, Sylvia Pankhurst, w help from Ato Menghestu Lemme

   [The book opens with this poem, which "stands as a dedication to all the
    women who are part of the oral tradition".  ]

Svarnakumari Devi 1855-1932: Mutiny

	(first Bengali novelist; sister of Rabindranath Tagore - 5 yrs
	 older. This short story was written in English, 1919) p. 70

[while staying with their white hostess in Alibag]
After washing the fort of Kolaba nearby, and over flowing the far-reaching
expanse of white sand, the sea ran up to a mass of black rock near the
bungalow just in front of which stood two pillars, dedicated to two Satis.
Here at the foot of the pillars, the foaming, heaving water for a meoment
seemed to come to a sudd3en standstill.  It was as though at the sacred touch
of the pillars, its boldness vanished, and it sank back in wornder and awe,
after paying its repeated homage to the Satis... 70-71

[FN: Sati: practice was not mentioned in Vedic texts but can be traced back
to the 6th c when sati stones were erected.  Initially restricted to the
Kshatriya families in Bengal and among Rajputs, but in later centuries among
Brahmins.  Steps to prohibit it were originally taken by Humayun and Akbar;
finally banned in 1828 [under the British].  However, sporadic instances
continue. 74]

Europeans called [Kanhoji Angray] a "pirate", and such in truth he was; but
... what chief, or ruler, or founder of a dynasty was not a robber or a pirate?
With success, piracy only receives another name. 70


Region-wise distribution

Eurocentric regions:

  - UK and Ireland (36)
  - Iberian peninsula (16)
  - Western and Central Europe (59)
  - Russia (11)
  - Scandinavia (17)
  - Canada (21),
  - USA (43)
  - Australia and NZ (22)
  - Latin America (32)

On the other hand, the vast diversity of China, Korea, Japan, Indochina,
Malay archipelago, etc. has only a short selection, mostly from Japan.
The non-European regions are:

  - Africa (12 authors)
  - Far East (14 authors)
  - Middle East (incl Israel and N Africa, 22 authors)
  - India (13, almost no one from Pakistan or Nepal or Bangladesh)
  - Caribbean (7)

While translators are mentioned, the language of the original is
not. This is usually inferrable, but can be tricky (e.g. Lakshmibai Tilak).

The authors from Africa and Asia are listed below.


      - Olive Schreiner, English
	- Isak Dinesen, Danish
	- Elizabeth Eybers, Afrikaans
	- Doris Lessing, English
	- Nadine Gordimer, English
	- Efua Sutherland, English
	- Annette M'Baye d'Erneville, French
	- Ingrid Jonker, Afrikaans
	- Bessie Head, English
	- Nafissatou Diallo, French
	- Ama Ata Aidoo, English


	- Svarnakumari Devi, Bengali, 1855-1932, p.69
	- Sara Jeanette Duncan, Canada/India, 1861-1922, p.110
	- Lakshmibai Tilak, Marathi, 1873-1936, p.165
	- Sarojini Naidu, 1879-1949, English, p.190
	- Bahinabai Chowdhury, 1880-1951, oral Marathi, p.193
	- Lalithambika Antherjanam, 1909-1987, Malayalam, p.445
	- Indira Sant, b.1914, Marathi, p.550
	- Ismat Chughtai, b.1915, Urdu, p.552
	- Amrita Pritam, b.1919, Punjabi, p.625
	- Mahasveta Devi b. 1926, Bengali, p.757
	- Dhirubin Pate l, b. 1926, Gujarati, p.770
	- Kamala Das, b.1934, English, p.870
	- Ambai, b. 1944, Tamil, p.997

 		Among the surprising presences listed in the "India" section
		is Sara Jeanette Duncan, a Canadian who arrived in India at
		the age of 27 and married Edward Cotes of the Indian museum,
		living in India for three decades before retiring to
		England. Even the piece selected has no India reference.

Far East

	- Higuchi Ichiyo
	- Qiu Jin
	- Yosano Akiko
	- Miyamoto Yuriko
	- Ding Ling
	- Ling Shuhua
	- Xiao Hong
	- Wei Junyi
	- Ishigaki Rin
	- Ibaragi Noriko
	- Shiraishi Kazuko
	- Kora Rumiko
	- Tomioka Taeko
	- Tsushima Yuku

Middle East

	- Hadibe Edib Adivar, Turkey 1884-1964
	- Mayy Ziyaah, Lebanon/Egypt 1886-1941
	- Rahel Bluwstein, Russia/Israel (Hebrew) 1890-1931
	- Leah Goldberg, Lithuania/Israel 1911-1971
	- Marguerite Taos Amrouche, Tunisia/France 1913-1976
	- Bint al-Shati, Egypt b. 1913
	- Fadwa Tuqan, Palestine (West Bank) b. 1917
	- Andree Chedid, Egypt/France b. 1920
	- Nazik al-Malaika, Iraq b. 1923
	- Joyce Mansour, Egypt/France 1928-1986
	- Nawal al-Saadawi, Egypt 1930
	- Samira 'Azzam, Palestine/Lebanon 1934-1967
	- Malak 'Abd-al Aziz, Egypt b. 1935
	- Gulten Dayioglu, Turkey b. 1935
	- Assia Djebar, Algeria/France, b 1936
	- Dahlia Ravikovitch, Israel b. 1936
	- Helene Cixous, Algeria/France b. 1937
	- Ghadah al-Samman, Syria/Lebanon, b. 1942
	- Khanata Banuna, Morocco b. 1943
	- Yona Wallach, Israel 1945-1985
	- Fawziyya Abu-Khalid b. 1955
	- Zabyah Khamis, UAE b. 1958

amitabha mukerjee (mukerjee [at-symbol] 2010 Jul 17