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Travelling over the postmodern wasteland: A humanist reading of Salman Rushdie's "Shame"
Año del Documento
ES: Revista de filología inglesa, 2002, N.24, pags.159-174
The fact that the contemporary world novel is mostly preoccupied with the depiction of the existential pains and conflicts of the postmodern world cannot be gainsaid. The world is plagued with ills; the contemporary novelist therefore rises to the challenge by depicting the present world as one long, unrelieved, nightmarish reality. Actually, the novel gives an explicit expression to chronological primitivism, that is, a profound rejection of the world as it is presently constituted, especially in terms of its human dimension. It is against the backdrop of the foregoing that this paper attempts a humanist reading of Salman Rushdie's Shame, most especially the novelist's presentation of evocations of a corrupt, degrading and brutal world which is quite recognisably the postmodern world. Rushdie stands at the apex of the "literary canon of disillusionment", precisely because in his representations of ontological pangs, the reader's apprehension of the dark times he lives in assumes a new intensity. Rushdie's Shame, in all ramifications, captures the spirit and mood of the postmodern world. The fictional evaluations of the plight of postmodern man mirror the deepest socio-political experiences of the contemporary world. A thorough analysis of the text reveals that Rushdie is able to convey socio-political realities in memorable postmodernist terms.
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