By Peter Morey

Fictions of India explores the relation of narrative strategy to problems with energy within the paintings of chosen writers facing India. It examines the imperial context during which the writers function and indicates how historic and ideological assumptions and anxieties might be learn into the texts they produce. The examine combines facets of colonial and post-colonial debate with narrative theories to light up the paintings of those writers working on each side of an epistemological divide shaped by means of Indian independence in 1947.The ebook focuses principally on British writers on India with chapters on Kipling, E.M. Forster, John Masters, J.G. Farrell and Paul Scott. a last, comparative bankruptcy strains the problems of narrative and tool within the paintings of 2 post-independence Indian writers - Khushwant Singh and Rohinton Mistry - and bargains with the weight of storytelling in a post-colonial scenario nonetheless fraught with communal and neo-colonial abuses.This booklet is a vital contribution to our knowing of the way

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Extra info for Fictions of India: Narrative and Power

Example text

In the same way Jukes decides not to ask Gunga Dass the whereabouts of the dead sahib’s gun, ‘knowing he would lie’; although this is a defamiliarizing narrative, orientalist adages about native deceit are still in place, indeed their treachery is part of the horror. Likewise, when the sahib’s escape route is discovered, Gunga Dass’ eagerness to accompany Jukes back to ‘terra firma’ implies the native’s realization of the overriding benefits of imperial rule instead of the pit’s communal anarchy.

However, detailed examination of almost every incidence of ‘Kipling-the-Indian’, will divulge a conservative ‘message’, put into the mouths of natives to make it appear objective. In fact this premise owes less to Kipling’s authenticity than to the solidity of orientalist discourse. Kipling is ‘speaking for’ the Indian in exactly the way orientalism speaks for the native. ‘The Phantom Rickshaw’ performs a service in exposing the arbitrariness of narrative viewpoints. It is a text which calls attention as much to its frame – its Sjuzet as the Russian Formalists would say – as to the events related therein.

Those voices which might record his selfish and unreasonable behaviour are pushed to the fringes of the text and quickly silenced. 17 Yet Kipling’s text is singular in Pansay’s method of suppression, which provides a clue as to his author’s mode of manipulation in the tales of horror, and how he apprehends and speaks for (one might say, ‘colonizes’) other narratives under imperialism. The instigating narrator and Pansay’s doctor, Heatherlegh, each has his own theory as to the cause of Pansay’s condition.

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