LITERATURE, PHILOSOPHY, POLITICAL THEORY: Selected Essays
This book is a masterly meditation on love, loss, separation, death, time, writing, being, the self and the other and on the controversial relation between humans and nonhuman animals and other entities in nature. In its different essays and papers it displays an amazing grasp of a variety of writing styles, rare in a modern Indian book of philosophy. The author throws up a number of new concepts or redefines traditional concepts. Thus it is probably one of the most original books in Indian thought written in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
The book contains selected essays and papers of the author written between 1994 and 2020. Many of these essays and papers have appeared in different journals and some of them have appeared in his book ‘Weeping’ and Other Essays on Being and Writing. A few of them have also appeared in books edited by other scholars. But there are two essays that have not been previously published either in a book or in a journal. A bunch of these essays and papers were presented in seminars and national and international conferences primarily at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, and Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla.
Torkel Lundberg, a Swedish environmentalist and filmmaker, writes: “As I read through the pages of [these] essays, I sensed that the air grew thinner and thinner. I was very mindful of my breaths. The text and the contents of these deep philosophical wanderings made things stop around me. Or rather inside of me…”
In addition to the general reader, the book is sure to interest scholars of philosophy, literary and political theory, environmental philosophy and animal rights.
Rustam Singh holds M.Phil. and Ph.D. degrees in political science and political philosophy. However, his interests include philosophy, literature, literary theory, environmental philosophy and animal rights as well.
He has held various research and editorial positions including the following: assistant editor of Economic and Political Weekly, Mumbai; research associate at Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi; fellow at Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla; editor of Summerhill IIAS Review, a journal of Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla; member, editorial board of Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences, another journal of Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla; founding editor of Hindi: Language, Discourse, Writing, a journal of Mahatama Gandhi International Hindi University; visiting scholar at Centre for Philosophy, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi; and senior fellow and senior editor in the publications wing of Eklavya, an NGO active in Madhya Pradesh, India.
He is the author of Violence and Marxism: Marx to Mao (2015), ‘Weeping’ and Other Essays on Being and Writing (2011) and A Story of Political Ideas for Young Readers, Volume 1: Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli (2010). His papers and essays have appeared in journals such as Economic and Political Weekly, Seminar, Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Literature, and Comparative and Continental Philosophy etc.
He has published seven collections of poems in Hindi and a volume of his selected poems. His poems have been translated into English, Telugu, Marathi, Panjabi, Malayalam, Swedish, Norwegian, Estonian, Spanish and French.