ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Chick Lit or Chutney Lit?

Down the ages, literary works have often used woman as a spicy condiment, eventually devaluing and debasing her natural role, even if unintentionally.

They say there are two tests of the philosophy of life – the test of truth and the test of morality. Truth in fiction is something quite different from truth in works of science. When Plato said that all imaginative literature is “false” because it does not reproduce the actual facts of life, he was perhaps being too judgmental. Aristotle pointed out the basic fallacy in Plato’s view. He maintained that there exists in all great works of imagination a “poetic truth” which is much more comprehensive than mere literal fidelity to the facts in the work of a historian. The historian is bound to things which have actually taken place, while the creative artist is limited only by what Aristotle called “ideal probability”. In the former, truth means fidelity to what was or is; in the latter, truth implies fidelity to what may be.

Thus, it could be argued that the truth of literature is fidelity to the “making of utopias” – where anything goes as concocted ambiguities are likely to remain unresolved and confounded as ever. Almost all eminent writers, especially those belonging to the west, have tread the same path. In the process, “magnificent” literary treatises passed down have often used woman as a spicy condiment, eventually devaluing and debasing her natural role, even if unintentionally.

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