3) B. K. Barua gives a separate treatment to the literature of the modern period categorizing them as Poetry, Drama, The Novel and the Short Story and Prose General. This section also constitutes the literature of the Assamese Romantic age. Though the western education and its newly formulated ideas helped in ushering in a phase of Romanticism in Assamese literature with certain innovative forms and tone, B. K. Barua claims that Assamese literature could retain the flavor of its own soil. Our plural cultural ethos and the magnificent source of folk-tradition offered immense diversity to Assamese Romanticism.
4) Modernity in Assamese literature is also a part of its wider European epistemological package. The psycho-philosophical and communist ideas of Freud, Jung, Karl Marx and Darwin had caused the Romantic disillusionment. Besides the influence of modern English poetry the modern phase of Assamese poetry also responded to the various experiments made in the poetry of France, Russia, Germany, Japan and China. But no significant change has been noticed in the form and content of Assamese drama under the English influences. The reason he finds is that a dramatic genius born of a national consciousness and native milieu is an important requisite for depicting social condition and narrating historical events. ‘Failing this’ according to him, ‘drama is bound to be effete. This basic resistance qualifies foreign influences that may have found their way in’ (ibid, page: 163).
Thus, we can deduce from the above that B. K. Barua’s literary historiography enjoys a scholarship and theoretical base that distilled through his research and serious study of Assamese literature, society, culture and history. He has made a sustained attempt to understand with sociological vision and a humanist perception the undercurrents of various socio-economic and political forces working behind the literature of a particular age. His criticism has been penetrating at a time when the literature touches the life of the people and when a classical tradition attains an indigenous flavor being endowed with the subaltern cultural values.
Secondly, as a literary historian, B. K. Barua is found to be more interested in evaluating the socio-aesthetic values, literary form and technique than overwhelming the readers with a confusingly huge gallery of the authors and literary masterpieces. He successfully explores how the folk-aesthetics, myths and legends, subaltern realities can provide to the literature of different ages an amazing variety and nuances.
Thirdly, B. K. Barua’s survey of the growth, development and the unique features of Assamese literature in such a compact volume focuses on the basic tenets of the medieval Assamese literature, the modernity developed through many vicissitudes of a colonial regime, exploration of some innovative means of expression under European and Asian literary influences towards the later phase of the modern period. There is however no point to suggest that the book can claim perfection in all details. This work of B.K.Barua, when read thoroughly would endorse the view of John Peck and Martin Coyle expressed as a preface to their A Brief History of English Literature “We wanted to write an account that a reader with a degree of stamina might wish to read as a whole. It is sometimes the case that histories of literature, aiming for encyclopedic inclusiveness, overwhelm the reader with detail; almost inevitably, it becomes impossible to see the shape or direction of the material being discussed. What we have sought to present is a clear narrative, with a strong backbone of argument” (Peck.J, Coyle.Martin.2008: ix).