02 August, 2021

Words For Now And Later

An encyclopaedia of concepts, ideas and idioms through which we express our Indian experience

Words For Now And Later

Nair and deSouza’s Keywords is a book whose time has come, to employ a cliché-metaphor in keeping with the book’s foundational emphasis on language in practice. A ‘keyword’, says the introduction, is an “encapsulated and enduring thought, part of an architecture of concepts that cultures tend stubbornly to uphold”. Arguing that new keywords are added even as older ones remain embedded in communication, this ‘conceptual lexicon’ brings together the local and the cosmopolitan in an innovative effort at polyphony and the plural histories of ideas.

Organised under seven categories—classical heritages, contemporary aesthetic modes, eco­­no­mic mantras, intimacies, emancipatory imaginaries, language and self-reflection and politics and the political—Keywords is an encyclopaedia of concepts, ideas, idioms and lexias that constitute our current languages of the sayable and the unsayable. The volume is at once a dictionary and a heuristic.   

It begins with the classical...

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