Cordelia’s Salt: Interspatial Reading of Indic Filial-Love Stories


Prasad re-tools Hannah Arendt’s concept of “interspace,” the world that emerges from the simultaneous recognition of the distinctiveness of subjects, their shared relations, and purposes. She compares discrepant related texts, acknowledging and bridging their distances. This is illustrated through a comparative and inter- and extra-textual reading of Shakespeare’s King Lear and variants of Indic filial-love folktales drawn from late nineteenth-century folktale collections and contemporary ethnographic studies. Prasad concludes that though Indic filial-love stories share some central predicaments and premises with King Lear, they propose different reconciliations to questions about selfhood, namely, “Who am I?” and “Who makes me?” Read together, Indic filial-love stories and King Lear illustrate that the self, always an intertext, finds itself by being symbiotically sovereign.

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