Figurations in Indian Film (BOK)
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Indian cinematic traditions have always relied on eclectic ways of figuration that combine signs and affects of desire and abomination. That is, incarnations often emerge at critical interfaces between good/bad, Indian/western, self/other, virtue/vice, myth/reality, and so on. Such figures are products of discontinuous assembling processes that cut through dyadic arrangements and pass the same character/body/identity via different, often contradictory, moral economies and sign systems. These many-armed, complex modes of figuration carry a special tenacity in Indian cinema for many reasons, but perhaps most importantly because the template of classical realist narration usually has had limited authority over its proceedings. Perpetually caught between the home and the world, between elation and agony, such cinematic entities carry in them the diverse, contending energies of the overall assembling arena of Indian modernity itself. The essays in this volume consider the issue of figuration in the broadest sense, including formations that are supra-individual, animalistic, divine and machinic.