Transcultural Narratives of Contemporary Postcoloniality
Edited By Nirmala Menon and Marika Preziuso
In addition, the collection addresses in at least two significant ways the question about «beyond postcolonialism» and the future of the discipline. First, by questioning and critically examining some foundational theories in postcolonialism, it points to possible new directions in our theoretical vocabulary. Second, it offers an array of reflections around disparate geographies that are, equally importantly, written in different languages. The value that the authors place on languages other than English and their choice to focus on the effect that multiple languages have on the present of postcolonial studies are in line with one of the aims of the collection – to make the case for a multilingual expansion of the postcolonial imaginary as a necessary imperative.
Chapter 8. The Hullabaloo about Hybridity in Kiran Desai’s The Inheritance of Loss
The disruptive power of mixed ethnicities in metropolitan spaces is central to the discourse of hybridity. Homi Bhabha, in his introduction to Location of Culture, talks about the boundary being a place “from which something begins its presencing in a movement” (5). For Bhabha, Rushdie’s narrative, especially in Satanic Verses, is testimony that the “truest eye may now belong to the migrant’s double vision” (5). Bhabha calls this moment of transition as “dwelling in the beyond,” an intervening space that becomes “a space of intervention in the here and now” (7).
Postcolonial hybridity may be understood as a disruption of the binaries through the in-between space (Bhabha). Rushdie uses the term “chutney” and Saleem Sinai, the narrator-protagonist in Midnight’s Children, recasts the narrative of his life story as a pickle:
Every pickle jar contains, therefore, the most exalted of possibilities, the feasibility of the chutnification of history; the grand hope of pickling of time! I, however, have pickled chapters. … I reach the end of my long winded autobiography: in words and pickles, I have immortalized my memories. (548)
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