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Narrative strategies in Rushdie's Midnight's Children

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Narrative strategies in Rushdie's Midnight's Children by Cristina Nuta -

Rushdie was a writer without a subject, except that of India, which hit him on the nose, with an immediacy of impact, the smells, the scenes. Consequently, he has stated that the narrative method of Midnight's Children was inspired by Indian story-telling:' One of the strange things about the oral narrative is that you find there a form which is thousands of years old, and yet which has all the methods of the modernist novel, because when you have somebody who tells you a story at that length, a story which is told from the morning to the night, it probably contains roughly as many words as a novel, and during the course of that story it is absolutely acceptable that the narrator will every so often enter his own story and chat about it.'

The narrative strategie s of the novel do include a first-person narrative, chat, digressions, a considerable length which permits a range of characters and stories. But Rushdie denies the influence of classical Indian allegory. He has said: I usually resist the idea of allegory. In India there's too much of it, allegory is the kind of disease. People try to decode everything, every story or text allegorically, and although clearly there are elements that you could call allegorical in Midnight's Children, the book is not an allegory. Allegory asks readers to make translation, to uncover a secret text that has not actually been written. In that sense I don's think my book acts as an allegory.

Rushdie spent five years in writing the book, time enough for him to mature. He began it as a third-person narrative which would have been useful in setting up a framework, but the change to the first-person was crucial in making his satire come to alive and ensuring an immediacy of impact. The novel was completed in June 1979, two weeks before the birth of his son. He dedicated it to Zafar as an inheritor of India's legacy and as a sign of his own connection to it and to Islam.

The novel, not mimetic, not presented as an illusion of the real world, remains, in a postmodern way, a self-reflexive artifact. In regard to the structure of the book, Rushdie aims at rich inclusiveness rather than neat or mechanical unity, a fact that is against his principles. Moreover, the consciousness of India's history is imposed subtly on the reader.

Narrative strategies in Rushdie's Midnight's Children written by Cristina Nuta for FamousWhy.com
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Tags: narrative, strategies, rushdie, midnight children



Category: Education  - ( Education Archive)

Date Added: 18 February '07


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