Zakir Majumder deposited Letters of 1971: The Politics and Poetics of Correspondence in the group TC Memory Studies on MLA Commons 6 years, 3 months ago
This study is premised upon my experience of translating _Ekattorer Chithi_ (Bengali title) or _Letters of 1971_ (English version of the title), an anthology of letters written by the freedom fighters of the Liberation War of Bangladesh in 1971, into English. Letters of 1971, a collection of letters, diverse as they are in meaning and implications, encompasses a myriad of issues and hence can be looked at from different perspectives in different ways. The main point of this study is to investigate the political, historical, and literary aspects of the letters written by the freedom fighters in 1971. It focuses on how they fashioned and were refashioned by the people and their social, political, and cultural milieu in which they occurred in different conjunctures of time and place. Put in other words, it will make a “thick description” of the letters in order to explore different voices and layers of significance—be they historical, political, social, cultural, gendered, generic, and the like. The study is based on an ethnographic approach called “thick description”—an interpretive approach coined and expounded by Clifford Geertz, an influential American anthropologist of the 20th century. As a heuristic theoretical tool, this method provides an opportunity to analyze the work _Letters of 1971_ under discussion from various perspectives and to evaluate political, historical, cultural, and literary issues brought up by the letter-writers.