This book focuses on one of the significant endeavors of the nineteenth and early twentieth century Bengali intelligentsia: science writing in the vernacular with the target audience being the so-called ‘common’ people. This involves both the recognition of the fact that developments in science and technology are at the centre of European modernity and an underlying motif to realize those developments on the native soil. But, this generates a complex process of understanding that not only transplants ‘modern’ science from the centre of the empire to the Bengali settings and linguistic forms, but also, in the same process, challenges the well-established notions of Reason and logic. To show the nuances of texts and contexts, works of the first modern scientist of India, Jagadish Chandra Bose, and major literary artist, Sukumar Ray, are discussed in detail.
Subhadeep Ray is the coordinator of the Department of English (PG & UG), Bidhan Chandra College, Kazi Nazrul University, Asansol, India. He did his PhD on Joseph Conrad’s fiction, and researches on modernity, postcolonial studies, translation studies and disability studies. He is a contributor to the Maria Curie-Skłodowska University (Poland) – Columbia University Press (USA) Conrad Project, and also to Disability in Translation: The Indian Experience, edited by Someshwar Sati and GJV Prasad, pub. Routledge, New Delhi and London (in print). He presented his research paper at a conference on “Disability Histories” at the University of Sheffield, UK in June 2018.