2008 Student Research Conference:
21st Annual Student Research Conference

Cognitive Photography: A New Critical Analysis of Agha Shahid Ali's "Postcard from Kashmir"
David J. Giovagnoli
Dr. Hena Ahmad, Faculty Mentor

Agha Shahid Ali writes of the Himalayas, the world's tallest mountain range, shrunk down to a half-inch size, on a postcard. The speaker's home is captured by the four-by-six card, with an image of a place that exists now only in memories. Returning to Kashmir, the speaker would find that the air is not quite so crisp, and the waters of the Jhelum not quite so clean; the negative of memory has been overexposed. This paper will explore the paradox that underlies the fact that the speaker is delighted in the beauty of the half-inch Himalayas, but is saddened by the fact that he can never return to that place, and the tension created by the arrival of the postcard. In what ways does the postcard wrinkle the speaker's memory and perception of home?

Keywords: Kashmir, Agha Shahid Ali, India, Poetry, New Criticism, Literary Theory


Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 34-5
Location: OP 2113
Time: 2:15

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