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  • Brothers of the Pure Sinhala Fraternity

    Garrett Field

    Chapter from the book: Field, G. 2017. Modernizing Composition: Sinhala Song, Poetry, and Politics in Twentieth-Century Sri Lanka.


    Chapter 2 analyzes how Munidasa Cumaratunga’s (1887–1944) project of linguistic purism inspired members of Cumaratunga’s Pure Sinhala Fraternity to compose song and poetry to promote the Sinhala language, reform its modern grammar, and put the Sinhalese English-speaking elite back in touch with their mother tongue. The purpose of chapter 2 is to critique the emphasis Partha Chatterjee places on intellectuals of colonized nations who create inner domains in relation to Western hegemony. Chatterjee focuses on Bengali cultural nationalism and its complex interaction with Western culture. But he considers Bengal, the metropolis of the British Raj, to be representative of colonized nations. This chapter reveals that members of the Pure Sinhala movement sought to define the Sri Lankan nation not in relation to the West but in opposition to North India.

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    How to cite this chapter
    Field, G. 2017. Brothers of the Pure Sinhala Fraternity. In: Field, G, Modernizing Composition. California: University of California Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/luminos.27.c

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    Published on March 22, 2017


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