Reṇu’s “rural speech” Hindi in Mailā āñcal
Keywords:Phaṇīśvarnāth “Reṇu”, Mailā āñcal, āñcaliktā, rural speech” Hindi
The following paper aims to explore the various ways in which Phaṇīśvarnāth“Reṇu” manages to create, through ingenious linguistic escamotages, a spoken Hindi of rural extraction in Mailā āñcal (1954). Through the exemplification of short excerpts from the novel and their comparison with the English rendering, edited by Junghare (The Soiled Border, 1991), an attempt will be made to trace the main linguistic strategies employed by the author, and to comprehend the peculiarities of his linguistic policy. The purpose of this work is therefore to analyze how the author manages to shape the plurality of voices that belong to Merīgañj, the so-called village where the novel is set, through his extraordinary expressive effectiveness that characterizes his Hindi. The analysis is composed of two sections. The first section is an in-depth study of the main characteristics of the novel and its author, with the function of providing the coordinates for the following part. The latter is a study of the linguistic aspects of the literary work and will examine the following categories: (a) onomatopoeia; (b) speech defect; (c) idioms; (d) songs. Eventually, there will be a reserved space for concluding reflections, in which, in the light of the present work, we will try to restore the polyphonic dimension of Mailā āñcal and this specific type of Hindi, created by the author to revive the rurality of Merīgañj's cosmos, here defined as “rural speech”.