Midnight's Children

l.m.fosse at easteur-orient.uio.no l.m.fosse at easteur-orient.uio.no
Sat Nov 18 13:30:23 UTC 1995

>I just read Anita Desai's introduction to _Midnight's Children_ by Salman
>Rushdie. She associates his book with post-colonialism as if it were a
>discrete political and cultural movement. And she sees his book as an
>example of magical realism. She makes it sound, if I am reading her
>correctly, that his style owes much to Gabriel Marquez and Gunter Grass. But
>I see it as going back much further than that--- to the modernists, such as
>Joyce and to twentieth century fantastic fiction at large, such as Nabokov's
>early novels.
>It seems to me that she has unfairly appropriated the heterogeneity and
>polyglotism of Anglo-Indian literature for post-modernist political
>discourse when it is simply consistent with literary movements which have
>been welling up since WWI.

When reading Midnight's Children some years ago it struck me that Rushdie
seems to owe a lot to the old Indic kath-a. He utilized motives and
personalities from Hindu mythology quite creatively, and I felt personally
that his storytelling was very South Asian. I may be wrong about his
sources of inspiration, but the Sanskrit stories by Dandin and other early
novelists and storytellers are certainly not foreign to the magical and
fantastic. (Read these guys, it's fun!). Anybody out there who have a
similar impression?

Best regards,

Lars Martin Fosse

Lars Martin Fosse
Research Fellow
Department of East European
and Oriental Studies
P. O. Box 1030, Blindern
N-0315 OSLO Norway

Tel: +47 22 85 68 48
Fax: +47 22 85 41 40

E-mail: l.m.fosse at easteur-orient.uio.no


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