'Midnight's Children' problems.

Gene Thursby gthursby at religion.ufl.edu
Sun Nov 19 20:54:20 UTC 1995

Surely a South Asian childhood was a necessary but not sufficient 
condition for the creation of Midnight's Children and Rushdie's more 
recent work.  And he himself has commented on it, more than once.  See, 
for example, his writings gathered under the title Imaginary Homelands 
(Granta/Viking, 1991).  The title essay concerns itself with this 
question.  Moreover, Rushdie develops his thoughts about 
emigrant/immigrant writing in a world in which so many people are in 
transit -- rather than firmly rooted in their birthplace.  The 
increasingly common experience is that of living as a displaced or 
multilocal person.  Cinematic montage is not a required resource for this 
experience, but is relevant to it.

Gene R. Thursby
University of Florida

On Sun, 19 Nov 1995, Lars Martin Fosse wrote:
> >I'm sorry to interject so sharply, but am I the only one who finds it
> >extremely problematic to either typify Rushdie's novel as "very south
> >asian" or to disavaw that there are strands within it which reverberate
> >against "postcolonial literatures" since WWII, which may also find their
> >antecdents in european novels between the war -- themselves never
> >conceived in a vacum, nor untainted by exposure to the then-colonies?
> I certainly agree that Rushdie's novels are not a pure product of the South
> Asian tradition, but I find that elements in Midnight's Children that could
> only have originated in South Asia. Rushdie does not have to be a South
> Asian scholar to have knowledge of the South Asian tradition. As far as I
> can see, Western criticism has not be sufficiently aware of this. But by
> all means: Rushdie is alive and should be able to comment upon this.
> Instead of speculating on his sources of inspiration, South Asian or other,
> we should perhaps just ask him.
> 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

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list