Indian Literature in English-Lecture 09 Notes-Literature, Study notes for Indian Literature in English. Texas A&M University (TX)

Indian Literature in English

Description: Indian Literature in English-Lecture 09 Notes-Literature-Christoph Reinfandt Globalising India, Terror, the Postcolonial Exotic, Global Terrorism, Globalized Fiction, Vikram Chandra, , Salman Rushdie, Shalimar the Clown, Kiran Nagarkar, God’s Little Soldier, Paradise Pickles , Inheritance of Loss, God of Small Things, Rana Dasgupta, Tokyo Cancelled
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INDIAN LITERATURE IN ENGLISH:AN INTRODUCTION PROF. DR. C. REINFANDT
SS 2008 UNIVERSITÄT TÜBINGEN
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LECTURE 9 PAGE 1
Indian Literature in English: An Introduction
Lecture 9:
Globalising India:
Terror and the Postcolonial Exotic
1) Visions of Global Terrorism
(Rushdie/Nagarkar)
2) The Postcolonial Exotic?!
(Roy/K. Desai)
3) A Truly Globalized Fiction
(Dasgupta)
1) Visions of Global Terrorism
> Vikram Chandra, Sacred Games (2006)
> Salman Rushdie, Shalimar the Clown (2005)
> Kiran Nagarkar, God’s Little Soldier (2006)
Shalimar the Clown:
Maximilian Ophuls – Boonyi (Bhoomi) Kaul – Noman Sher Noman
India Ophuls
Part 1: India [Los Angeles, 1991]
Part 2: Boonyi [Pachigam, Kashmir]
Part 3: Max [Strasbourg>Paris>London>US (>India)]
Part 4: Shalimar the Clown [Kashmir>Pakistan>Afghanistan>US]
Part 5: Kashmira [Los Angeles, 1991ff.]
“There was no India. There was only Kashmira, and Shalimar the Clown.”
INDIAN LITERATURE IN ENGLISH:AN INTRODUCTION PROF. DR. C. REINFANDT
SS 2008 UNIVERSITÄT TÜBINGEN
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LECTURE 9 PAGE 2
That Rushdie now prefers the pursuit of a signature style to tragedy is itself a kind of trag-
edy. Shalimar the Clown is nearly that much needed thing: a tragic novel about the growth
of a terrorist’s mind in one of those rogue regions of the world [...] Instead, the novel is by
turns satire, old-fashioned revenge romance and Hollywood action movie, and it seems to
flaunt its determination to put as much padding as possible between readers and feelings
[...] The deliberate campiness and flight from character into archetype, which were so
prominent in Rushdie’s turn away from politics to beauty and talent in The Ground Be-
neath Her Feet (1999) and Fury (2001), have intensified, as has his pursuit of that elusive
beast, the great global novel.
Marco Roth, “Give the People What They Want: Salman Rushdie’s Many-Ringed Circus.”
TLS Sep 9 (2005): 19f.
Kiran Nagarkar (*1942 Bombay):
Saat Sakkam Trechalis (1974) [Seven Sixes are Forty Three]
Ravan & Eddie (1994/95)
Cuckold (1997)
God’s Little Soldier (2006):
Zia Khan vs. Amanat Khan
aka
Lucens
aka
Tejas
Zubeida Khaala
Antonia Booth-Langston
INDIAN LITERATURE IN ENGLISH:AN INTRODUCTION PROF. DR. C. REINFANDT
SS 2008 UNIVERSITÄT TÜBINGEN
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LECTURE 9 PAGE 3
(1)
One of Zia’s earliest memories was of a concert at their home, Firdaus. His aunt Zubeida
pushed her chin out in the direction of the dais and said, ‘Satan, that’s where he is.’ […]
‘Just look at them, men and women mingling shamelessly,’ Zubeida Khaala muttered
as she tried to pat Zia to sleep […] ‘Decent women don’t throw of the pallus of their saris
and expose their breasts. They should sit in the zenana. Or wear a burkha when they have
company.’ […]
(11)
Zia could not get used to the alarm […] How he loathed this job. He had gone out for a
walk one morning around five because he couldn’t sleep, and had been struck by the filth
and litter on the road. He was convinced that all tourists should be banned from Cam-
bridge. It was not their town and so they simply didn’t care if they shat all over the place.
The pair of sweepers on this beat must have gone for a cup of tea, for they had leaned
their brooms against a hedge and left their carts nearby. Zia had finished cleaning up half
the street when one of them came running towards him.
What the hell do you think you are doing?’
‘I would have thought that even a fool could tell that I was cleaning up the mess on the
road.’
‘It’s my street. And that’s my broom.’ Then he added with surprising formality, ‘If you
don’t have a work permit, you can’t take a job here:’
‘Sure I can,’ Zia contradicted him, ‘I’m doing it for free.’
The next morning Zia was at work before the others got there. He had bought himself
his own heavy-duty broom. In time the rest of the crew shrugged their shoulders and
smiled. There was no dearth of weirdoes in Cambridge. Every second fellow, tutor or don
was a nutcase. Now there was one more.
[…]
Zia was a manic worker […] Zia’s attitude to the work was perverse: the more he abhorred
his new-found métier, the more meticulous he became […] This was the enemy, the origi-
nal sin, the evil cornucopia of human waste on which the whole of mankind would choke
and die.
[…]
There is only one purpose to life; only one ontological, epistemological, teleological end
to and reason for creation: shit. What you eat, you shit. The more you consume, the more
you shit. That is it, tortillas, shepherd’s pie, doner kebabs or gyros as the Greeks call them,
photographic films, computers, cars and car exhausts, woollens, synthetics, everything
equals everything. There is not a grain of excess in the universe. All is accounted for. Yes,
whoever sat up there in the sky was first, last, middle and sideways an accountant.
INDIAN LITERATURE IN ENGLISH:AN INTRODUCTION PROF. DR. C. REINFANDT
SS 2008 UNIVERSITÄT TÜBINGEN
___________________________________________________________________________
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LECTURE 9 PAGE 4
And who clears the detritus in the universe? It is the sweepers of the world who must
continually clean up the shit of human kind and canine kind and one other kind that is the
nemesis, the diabolical and true Satan for Zia Khan. The other kind so beloved of nature
lovers like Wordsworth, Kalidasa, Shelley, Keats and a hundred others who should have
been forced to be sweepers before they were allowed to write a word about the joys of
creation, the other kind, or rather the most unkind: the trees on this damned planet, earth.
It was during his first autumn that Zia realized why the American term for it was far more
appropriate. Was there ever a more apt name for a season, or the human condition, than
the fall? There is nothing, absolutely nothing, in the chronicles of mankind’s suffering as
great, as fallen, as symbolic and symptomatic, as overwhelming as fall, with or without the
definite article.
[…]
Autumn had indeed exacted a terrible price from Zia. It seemed to him that Allah, too,
had taken a fall. Zia didn’t bother to pray these days. Allah had ceased to matter to him
any more.
[…]
Dump the job? How could he? As long as he had it, he had every reason to catch up on
sleep all day and not go to supervisions or lectures where he would have to study that
most barren of subjects, pure maths.
(59)
‘Do you remember what you has written about traitors when you were one of us?’
Tejas said, ‘How could I forget?’ but it was as though he was not listening any more. He
was intrigued by the phrase ‘to take care of someone’. How often had he heard it said that
God takes care of his own. He himself had sworn to ‘take care of Amanat’ when his
brother had threatened to reveal his arms-trade activities to the media. James had told
Nawaaz, ‘We take care of our customers, come what may.’ And when Shakta Muni had
picked him up from the police lockup he had assured him, ‘We take care of our own … one
way or the other.’ Now Nawaaz Irfan, his devoted disciple, would take care of him.
It was odd, but the last thing he recalled was something Amanat’s Kabir had said to-
wards the end of his book: ‘There’s only one God and Her name is Life. She is the only
one worthy of worship. All else is irrelevant.’
(60)
[Letter from Amanat to Zia after Zia has vanished]
Come home, Zia […] Let’s put up our feet and talk about old times. About Abbajaan,
Zubeida Khaala and Aunt Antonia. And yes, of dear Ammijaan too.
Love,
Amanat
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