Salman Rushdie is one of the most famous authors of the modern era. In the tradition of Gabriel Marquez, Rushdie sweeps the reader up in his novel, Midnights Children, like the book by Marquez that obviously had a great deal of influence on Rushdie, One Hundred Years of Solitude, Midnights Children is a postmodern look at the modern fairytale that Salman Rushdie weaves for those who wish to pick up the book.
This paper will include a brief description of postmodernism followed by a look at Salman Rushdie. Most scholars agree that this novel fits into the category of Postmodernist fiction, but how so? What specific elements of postmodernism do this book contain that makes it a postmodern book? In this paper, I will look at various elements of postmodernism including the contrast of information and knowledge, the idea that the novel parallels history, decolonization, feminism/post feminism, dispersion philosophy, ontology,…… [Read More]
Salman Rushdie: Contemporary Socrates of the 'Global Village'
hen the Anglo-Indian writer Salman Rushdie's controversial novel The Satanic Verses was first published in 1989, the book ignited an international firestorm, replete with book burnings, massive public protests, and even the issuance of a fatwa, or a religious death sentence against Rushdie by Iran's hard-line religious leader, then-Ayatollah Khomeini. Since then, sixteen years have past, Rushdie is still alive, and writing. Since that time, also, many factions of the Muslim world have come to seem, to whole estern nations, like the United States and others, fully as intractable as they must have seemed to Rushdie back then. ithin The Satanic Verses, Salman Rushdie dared to ask hard questions about such sparsely-discussed issues as the origins of Islam and the basis of the entire Islamic belief system. For many non-Muslims in 1989, the controversy over The Satanic Verses likely seemed both strange…… [Read More]
Meanwhile, the family became so poor that Grandmother had to sell the porcelain dishes, the silverware, and the linen napkins. But she kept out one set for him to eat from, because an aristocrat couldn't eat from ordinary dishes. One Saturday night he got an idea for an invention. The children took their baths on Saturday night in a washtub in the kitchen. By the last child, the water was so murky the soap disappeared underneath it. So Grandfather thought of floating soap, easy to find. He went to work and developed his idea. He took it to the World's Fair where he met two men, Proctor and Gamble, who were very enthusiastic about helping him manufacture it. He gave them his recipe, shook hands, and never heard from them again. When Ivory Soap came out, it was a big hit. Grandfather spoke six languages but English wasn't one of…… [Read More]
In the story, he claims that a big title wave hinder him from doing what he wanted to do. However, when he accomplished his goal, he claimed the title wave was not there at all. The reader could take as the water/title wave to be a metaphor to represent the obstacles he had to go through in order to become a good storyteller again.
Part fantasy, part allegory and always clever and engaging, the story told of Haroun's adventures speaks to the power of story in our lives and in the world. The constant word play and twists of language are funny, though at times I felt they became just "too much." While we are being entertained by maniac bus drivers, strange genies and odd fish, Haroun and his father both are coming to terms with the things in the world that truly matter. This is one of those rare…… [Read More]
But Rushdie's relationship with English as a writer, even as a critic of the former British Empire, is far more complex. In Salman Rushdie's text "English is an Indian literary language," Rushdie states that the output of literature in English by Indian writers is more interesting and vital than those produced in India's native languages. Through creativity and dialogue with the oppressor, a great literature has been generated. India's original languages were vast in number but parochial. Ironically, English has proved to be a unifying force for Indians, even if one of the unifying ideologies for Indian writers in English is their attempt to create a new, national literature that is distinct from the British.
This phenomenon is not new, of course. Great Irish writers also used the English language that was imposed upon them to create great works of literature. Even if the ideology that resulted in the imposition…… [Read More]
There is the feeling that Rushdie is toying with the concept of freedom of speech in this story as well as destroying the concept of the East as mysterious. Rushdie uses English to tell his story, but he incorporates the Indian oral tradition without any kind of chronological structure to the story. He deconstruct the binary opposition of East and est. He himself is between the Orient and the Occident and he chooses to use both structures, combining Britain and India (Buran 10).
The factors of race and gender complicate the relations of class in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, ole Soyinka's "Telephone Conversation," and Jean Rhys "Let Them Call It Jazz" in various ways. In Heart of Darkness, the story is centered on the typical male experience, which tends to alienate the female reader from the very "mannish" story. There is some speculation that Marlow and Kurtz's sexist views…… [Read More]
Crisis at Footwear International
A multinational shoe manufacturing company has been accused of deliberately designing a shoe with an insole that is offensive to Muslims. Footwear International consists of a number of companies that are semi-autonomous with regard to operations, and are governed by boards of directors that include local business community members. The Footwear International company in Bangladesh experienced severe criticism from local activist student groups who interpreted the design of an insole to include the name of Allah. Further, the students charged the manufacturing company of being owned and financed by Jews, and somehow linked the entire episode to Salman ushdie. The designer of the shoe -- a devout Bengali Muslim who does not speak or read Arabic -- declared that the pattern integrated into the insole design was inspired by Chinese temple bells that she purchased. Further, the insole design had been considered and approved…… [Read More]
Paul Valery was a French poet, essayist, and critic, who gave up writing for 20 years to pursue work in the scientific arena. His poetic style was based on symbolism and he believed that the mental process of creation was what was really important and that the poetry that he wrote was a by-product of the effort. "Enthusiasm is not an artist's state of mind," stated Valery. T.. Eliot has compared Valery's analytical attitude to a scientist who works in a laboratory "weighting out or testing the drugs of which is compounded some medicine with an impressive name."
Poetry is simply literature reduced to the essence of its active principle. It is purged of idols of every kind, of realistic illusions, of any conceivable equivocation between the language of "truth" and the language of "creation." (from Litterature, 1929)
His quote, "Beauty is a way of death. The novelty, the intensity,…… [Read More]
Saladin and the Christian Crusaders
Saladin, or Salah al-Din, or Selahedin, was a twelfth century Kurdish Muslim general and warrior from Tikrit, in what is currently northern Iraq. Saladin founded the Ayyubid dynasty in Egypt. The Muslim leader was renowned in both the Muslim and Christian worlds because of his leadership and his military prowess. He was also seen as a chivalrous figure who showed mercy during his war against the Christian Crusaders. The image of Saladin developed in his lifetime and persisted long after so that he has remained a heroic figure much revered in both the Islamic world and the Christian world, the latter in spite of the fact that he opposed Western expansion into Islam and fought agasint the West in the Crusades. Still, he is idolized in literaure and art and is often the subject for Western writers as for Islamic writers, though the two groups…… [Read More]
There is, Peppis points out, a sense of Englishness that is represented by the establishment, and is that sense of Englishness that the avant-garde confronts in English literature (36). hen Salman Rushdie and other contemporary authors of English literature write about the colonial period from the perspective of the colonized, it confronts that Englishness, casting the work into the avant-garde.
Commenting on the avant-garde, Matei Calinescu (1987) writes:
Modernity has opened the path to the rebellious avant-gardes. At the same time, modernity turns against itself and, by regarding itself as decadence, dramatizes its own deep sense of crisis. The apparently contradictory notions of avant-garde and decadence become almost synonymous and, under certain circumstances, can even be used interchangeably (Calinescu 5)."
At the point where modernity turns against itself in the way that Calinescu describes, it then becomes establishment. It is the abandonment of the Puritanism, and in the case of…… [Read More]
English writing has taken a new evolutionary path in its development since Independence. India was observed post-colonially by English writers of Indian origin. While new ideas were being developed, emphasis was placed on religious, socio-economic, filial, and political problems as talking points; these issues captured the national movement sensation and attracted the attention of creative writers. Events like the partition and the resulting communal riots following it, coupled with the problems of caste discrimination, misogyny and the squalor in which the proletariat lived, were the major issues of the time. The clamour raised over these issues is massive, with many budding writers boosting the perception of literature as time passes. This paper seeks to evaluate and provide insight into the progress of English writing over a time period ranging from the post- independence period till the present time. Writing veterans who displayed the fifties' realism in their works are…… [Read More]
Benazir Bhutto: The first and only female leader of Pakistan, Bhutto was a strong political figure and fighter for freedom and women's rights in Pakistan and other Muslim countries. Exiled and brought back by popular demand, she was assassinated in 2007.
Mo Yan: Mo Yan is an incredibly prolific and respected author in modern China, whose works are largely concerned with social commentary. He was formerly a soldier in the People's Army and is a member of the ruling Communist Party.
Khmer Rouge: The followers of Pol Pot and the Communist Party in Kampuchea (now Cambodia) were known as the Khmer Rouge. The regime is noted for the massive human rights violations and state-sponsored murders in the guise of social engineering.
Nigeria and Biafra: Biafra was a secessionist state in Nigeria populated largely by the Ibo people. The secession of te state, which was recognized by several neighboring African countries,…… [Read More]
ace and Ethnicity
What is multiculturalism?
Multiculturalism is an ideology which is defined in different ways following in the varying paradigms of one's culture and knowledge. However, it is generally explained as a system of beliefs which recognizes and appreciated diversity of groups in a society or in any organization. In t his regard, it also acknowledge these difference particularly the socio-cultural disparity thereby stressing upon its impact in a culture as it empowers the whole society. Multiculturalism is all about recognizing the difference and respecting them. In other words, this points out to the equal treatment of every human being regardless of any distinction based on color, race, religion, gender and culture. It aims at safeguarding and building up the integrity and dignity of these differences so that they are tolerated and celebrated (osado C, 1997).
Multiculturalism is feature of globalization as well as post…… [Read More]
eligion and Politics
Uses and Abuses of the Concept of Orientalism
There have been many uses and abuses in regard to the cultural and social concept called Orientalism. "Unlike the Americans, the French and British -- less so the Germans, ussians, Spanish, Portuguese, Italians, and Swiss -- have had a long tradition of what I shall be calling Orientalism, a way of coming to terms with the Orient that is based on the Orient's special place in European Western Experience. The Orient is not only adjacent to Europe; it is also the place of Europe's greatest and richest and oldest colonies, the source of its civilizations and languages, its cultural contestant, and one of its deepest and most recurring images of the other. In addition, the Orient has helped to define Europe (or the West) as its contrasting image, idea, personality, and experience. Yet none of this Orient is merely…… [Read More]
Terrorism seems to have taken over the world. No matter how hard the industrialized countries try to find ways to achieve peace and stability in the world but somehow the opposite happens. Today's world is predominantly inhabited by hatred that is visible in the never-ending terror and fear produced by the attacks of September 11th and the military responses undertaken by Super powers. Wars apparently carried out in order to eradicate terrorism are seen by the affected countries as excuses to simply dominate more countries and establish and American hegemony or new colonialism all over the world.
The reasons for escalating terrorism are complex and more than often not understandable. However, some of the reasons are as follows: The growth in the number of terrorist groups is instigated largely by the religious imperative that is greatly funded by the state governments of the Islamic countries; the highly advanced technology and…… [Read More]
relationship exists between difference of religion and the occurrence of civil wars within societies. The relationship between religious groups to society can be defined against the backdrop of war. Powerful emotions surround both conflict and military conflict (Yinger, 1946). A direct relationship has been recognized for several year regarding religion and violence. Students of organized religion "have frequently pointed out the ease with which most church leaders shift, at the outbreak of war, from an explicit antiwar position to a vigorous pro-war policy" (Yinger, p. 176). However, despite the seemingly strong tie between religion and war, it is critical to also acknowledge that while religion seems a backdrop for many wars, many other factors have contributed as well. Political aspirations and agendas have had as much to do with war as religion. The complex intermingling of these many different factors will be explored in greater detail below.
ecent research suggests…… [Read More]
Retrieval & Storage
It has become a commonplace in public discussion over the past decade or two to assert that we are presently living through an informational revolution as great and momentous as that which took place in the wake of Gutenberg's movable type and the introduction of printed books to Europe. hether this proves to be accurate or merely a rarefied and academic strain of vacuous Silicon Valley hype has yet to be demonstrated, but it is undeniable that technological changes have altered the way in which information can be stored and retrieved. hat has not changed is the tendentious nature whereby information in general is stored and retrieved. I wish to focus on three ways in which this tendentiousness has been expressed in the past -- which I will summarize as forgery, ideology, and historiography -- in which the storage and retrieval of information has conditioned the use…… [Read More]
Plato, The Apology of Socrates
The charges against Socrates, as given in Plato's Apology, are twofold. This is how Socrates himself phrases it:
And now I will try to defend myself against them: these new accusers must also have their affidavit read. What do they say? Something of this sort: - That Socrates is a doer of evil, and corrupter of the youth, and he does not believe in the gods of the state, and has other new divinities of his own. (Plato 2009).
In other words, the first charge is that Socrates has corrupted the youth of Athens, and the second charge is that of impiety towards the official gods of Athens. Socrates in his defense begins by cross-examining his accuser, Meletus. On the first charge he asks whether Meletus thinks his corruption of young minds was intentional: when Meletus says it was, Socrates notes that Meletus has never…… [Read More]