Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies

Text as a Cultural Archive

A Close Reading of Madan Vasishta’s Deaf in Delhi: A Memoir

Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies (2021), 15, (2), 203–218.

Abstract

The article examines text as a cultural repository of the memories and consciousness of a milieu. What it argues is that individual narratives of pain and suffering have the potential for foregrounding the world view of a community and for resistance to inherent social and cultural stereotypes and oppressive social structures. Madan Vasishta’s Deaf in Delhi: A Memoir (2006) is a remarkable work of literary disability scholarship, informed by the author’s saga of pain, struggle, and triumphant march in life. In this memoir, the author is described being a deaf boy in his homeland of India, where “deaf” meant someone who is not human. The author’s narrative is lined up with many facets of deafness as a cultural and social signifier. Though the article’s point of focus is upon the social and cultural representation of disability in the context of a community through the text as an archive, the study tries to examine how the understanding of the society/community at large inflects and complicates disability representations of an individual text.

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Details

Author details

Islam, Mohaiminul

Jana, Ujjwal