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|Title:||Inscribing the Palimpsest|
Department of English, NTNU
|Abstract:||The employment of the politics of hybridity in The Moor's Last Sigh envisions Salman Rushdie's enthusiastic anticipation of cultural eclecticism. Using palimpsest as a metaphor, Rushdie inscribes intersecting trajectories of variegated cultural legacies and their imbrications in the course of cultural formation and historical mutation. This politics of hybridity is manifested in three dimensions: (1)The metaphor of the palimpsest visualizes the nature of hybridity and dominates the book's cultural vision, featuring the germ of the novel; (2) Hybrid characters in the novel interrogate and destabilize the fixity of “the Other” and decouple the homogeneous definition of “the Other” in the logic of Manichean division of “Self and Other”; (3) Cultural legacies left by the British Empire are inevitably intertwined with local cultures, which illustrate that cultural hybridity is the predictable product of cultural formation. Aurora's death in the very end alludes to the dim prospect of cultural eclecticism. The closing lament for a commodified Alhambra, likewise, implies a false multiculturalism. In parodying Martin Luther's persistence in his religious ideal in exile, Rushdie indicates that exile can never shatter a writer's literary conviction, which rescues the novel from turning into a melodrama, thereby allowing it to emit the positive glow of exile.|
|Appears in Collections:||Concentric: Studies in English Literature and Linguistics|
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