Utilize este identificador para referenciar este registo: http://hdl.handle.net/10451/30330
Título: “Beware Behalfies!": Contradictory Affiliations in Salman Rushdie’s Step Across This Line
Autor: Mendes, Ana Cristina
Palavras-chave: Rushdie, Salman
Postcolonial literature
Postcolonial studies
Cultural critique
Said, Edward
Data: 2011
Editora: Intellect
Citação: Mendes, AC. (2011) “‘Beware Behalfies!’: Contradictory Affiliations in Salman Rushdie’s Step Across This Line”, Manuela Ribeiro Sanches et al. (orgs.), Europe in Black and White: Immigration, Race, and Identity in the “Old Continent”. Bristol: Intellect, 67-76.
Resumo: According to Edward Said, the attention of contemporary secular criticism is engaged by the twin “temptations” of filiation, wherein critical consciousness is inextricably connected “by birth, nationality, profession” to a stable place of origin, and affiliation, in which new-fangled critical solidarities are formed “by social and political conviction, economic and historical circumstances, voluntary effort and willed deliberation” (1983, pp. 24-25). Not unrelatedly, a review of Step Across This Line, Salman Rushdie’s compilation of non-fictional work published in 2002, notes the “dizzying” outcome of the “contradictory affiliations” resulting from the author’s self-pledged multipositionality (Boyagoda, 2003). “Over the course of the collection,” the reviewer Randy Boyagoda writes, Rushdie presents himself as “a Muslim, Indian, New Yorker, Briton, European, American, trans-nationalist, post-nationalist, internationalist, immigrant, exile, emigrant, migrant” (2003, p. 48). Boyagoda recognises that such apparent changeability of political positioning – visible for the most part regarding 9/11 and its after effects – is defensible in Rushdie’s fictional writing, where his characters exhibit hybrid selves and are thus far from lending themselves to unitary categorization. Nonetheless, the reviewer considers that in a cultural critic this multipositionality results in an unavoidable inconsistency, and hence turns this anthology of essays and newspaper columns into a sort of “postmodern chutney,” most likely to cause “an unfortunate indigestion” to its reader (2003, p. 49). Rushdie’s aptitude to apprehend experience from an array of transient positionings is rooted in the belief that the creative writer should identify himself or herself with a cosmopolitan ideal and steer clear of any explicit parochial agenda. Indeed, his defence of Indian writing in English in the introduction to the co-edited anthology The Vintage Book of Indian Writing is based on the conviction that “parochialism is perhaps the main vice of the vernacular literatures” (1997, p. xv). Viewed from this perspective, the post-independence generation of Indian writers of English has been garnering an unprecedented visibility since the 1980s because it has been “too good to fall into the trap of writing nationalistically” (1997, p. xv). Likewise, Said – to whom Rushdie dedicates an eponymous essay in Step Across This Line –, censures nationalist models such as Frantz Fanon’s, underscoring that fetishised allegiances of “[n]ationality, nationalism, nativism” (1993, p. 277) might be just as constraining to the individual as colonialism. In this way, Said’s secular ideal is, at its core, both a form of exilic displacement and an adversarial critical exercise grounded in opposition to what the Palestinian critic perceives as the near-dogmatic tenets of national alliances.
Peer review: yes
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10451/30330
ISBN: 9781841503578
Versão do Editor: http://press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/distributed/E/bo10397744.html
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