The Ecology of the Archive in Adil Jussawalla's ‘Date Book’ for a Missing Novel

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The Cornell Bombay Poets’ Archive was initially started with Adil Jussawalla’s donation of his massive archive to the Special Collections at Cornell University. Jussawalla has been collecting and documenting the state of Indian letters, more precisely the state of Indian poetry, for over fifty years. This essay takes a representative archival document from this collection to show the abiding engagements of the poet with the world in which he lived. This text is a planner/diary (a ‘date book’), which contains a set of notes for an unwritten novel from the 1970s, when Adil Jussawalla’s career as poet and writer was in its early stages. The planner/diary shows us the multiple trajectories of the conflicted space of the English writer in post-Independence India that we must heed when studying Indian modernisms: the peculiar combinations of pasts and presents to create an Indian modern; the combination of the trans-regional with the translocal with the deeply personal; and the refusal to sentimentalise anything.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)320-338
Number of pages19
JournalSouth Asia: Journal of South Asia Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science


  • Adil Jussawalla
  • Bombay Poets’ Archive
  • Indian modernism
  • Sathottari
  • book history
  • ecology
  • global and local


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