Midnight's Children

r.l.schmidt at easteur-orient.uio.no r.l.schmidt at easteur-orient.uio.no
Sat Nov 18 14:01:22 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.
>Does anybody have any ideas about this?
>Robin Kornman
I always had the impression that there are echoes of the *dastan* ("orally
recited prose promance", to quote Frances Pritchett) in _Midnight's
Children_.  There is the same weaving together of subplots in a main story
line, the intrusion of magic into everyday reality, and the use of richly
textured language that envelopes the reader in the story.

Ruth Schmidt


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