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  • Pragmatics of Pīr Kathā: Emplotment and Extra-Discursive Effects

    Tony K. Stewart

    Chapter from the book: Stewart, T. 2019. Witness to Marvels: Sufism and Literary Imagination.


    The tales of Satya Pīr constitute the oldest, largest block of pir kathas. He descends as avatar, the answer to the degradation of this final age of humanity. Carrying the Koran and Bhagavata purana, he invokes both Allah and Narayan as Niranjan, the Stainless One. Following Genette’s narrative codes, hindu-oriented tales emplot recognition of Satya Pir to brahmins, woodcutters, and merchants. The code targeting women underscores the enacted nature of gender, accommodating women who, with Satya Pir’s help, set right the messes of stupid men. The musalmani narrative code emplots the appropriation of the Indic world to the service of Islam. The pragmatics of these tales persuade the listener to recognize the legitimacy of musalmans as a natural part of traditional Bengal.

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    Stewart, T. 2019. Pragmatics of Pīr Kathā: Emplotment and Extra-Discursive Effects. In: Stewart, T, Witness to Marvels. California: University of California Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/luminos.76.g

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    Published on Sept. 13, 2019


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