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  • Divergent Standards of Excellence

    Garrett Field

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


    Part 2 (chapters 4–6) turns to the post-colonial period to inquire into the ways Sinhala song and poetry of the 1950s and 1960s differed thematically, aesthetically, and politically from colonial-era trends. Chapter 4 juxtaposes the lives and works of the pioneers of the radio opera—Chandrarathna Manawasinghe (1913–1964) and Wimal Abeysundara (1921–2008)—with the life and work of the creator of Sinhala free verse—Siri Gunasinghe (b. 1925). The chapter commences with an analysis of the aesthetics in Manawasinghe, Abeysundara, and Gunasinghe’s earliest works. It then attempts to explain their aesthetic differences and similarities through the lens of their education, institutional base, and criticisms of their predecessors’ song and poetry. Theoretically, the chapter is concerned with a process that Sheldon Pollock terms “cosmopolitan vernacularism.”

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    Field, G. 2017. Divergent Standards of Excellence. In: Field, G, Modernizing Composition. California: University of California Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/luminos.27.e

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    Published on March 22, 2017


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