Presentation on theme: "LETTERATURE DEI PAESI di LINGUA INGLESE I"— Presentation transcript:
1LETTERATURE DEI PAESI di LINGUA INGLESE I LM/37 LINGUE E LETTERATURE EUROAMERICANE Curriculum: Culture e letterature dei paesi di lingua ingleseL-LIN/10LETTERATURE DEI PAESI di LINGUA INGLESE I1 CORSO (CFU 8)Prof. Rossella Ciocca
2L’India metropolitana: Mumbai tra letteratura e cinema Il corso si propone di introdurre gli studenti alla letteratura indiana di lingua inglese. Dopo aver affrontato il tema dell’origine e del consolidamento di una letteratura anglofona nel subcontinente, il corso dedicherà particolare attenzione all’immaginario metropolitano indiano con particolare riferimento alla città di Mumbai.
3Primary textsAravind Adiga, Last Man in Tower, London, Atlantic Books, 2011Salman Rushdie, The Moor’s Last Sigh, London, Vintage, 1996Suketu Mehta, Maximum City. Bombay Lost and Found, London, Review, 2004 (part I Power, part II Pleasure)
4criticismPriyamvada Gopal, The Indian English Novel. Nation, History, and Narration, Oxford and New York, Oxford U. P., 2009 (fotocopies)B. D. Metcalf and T. R. Metcalf, A Concise History of India, Cambridge, Cambridge U. P., 2002A. Appadurai, Modernity at Large, Minneapolis and London, Minnesota U. P., 1996 (Chapters 2, 3)Rossella Ciocca, “Mother India and Paradise Lost: myth, history, and fiction in the city of Mumbai” in Indiascapes. Images and words from globalized India (UNO, /2)
5Filmografia Salaam Bombay by Mira Nair, 1988 Maqbool by Vishal Bardwaj, 2004Slumdog Millionaire by Danny Boyle, 2008
7INDIA: MOSAIC OF IDENTITIES LINGUISTIC VARIETYIndian languages, 2 main families: Indo-European (Hindi, Urdu, Hindustani, Punjabi, Bengali, Marathi, Gujarati, Assamese, Kashmiri, Sindhi etc.) and Dravidian (Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam et al.)RELIGIOUS PLURALITYHinduism, Islamism, Christian creeds, Sikkism, Jainism, Buddhism, Animism, Parseeism (Zoroastrianism)
8Ethnic identity has been moulded by linguistic identity Ethnic identity has been moulded by linguistic identity. For example the Bombay Province was divided into the states of Gujarat and Maharashtra in 1960, Punjab and Hariana in 1966.
12PLURAL but RIGID SOCIAL STRUCTURE Caste: endogamous group or collection of groups bearing a common name and having the same traditional occupation, sharing the tradition of a common origin and common tutelary deities.BRAHMANA (priests; today intellectuals and managers) mouthKSHATRYA (warriors and kings) armsVAISYA (land owners, traders) legsSHUDRA (hand workers, peasants, servants,) feetOutcast people:dalit (broken, oppressed)Harijan (God’s son) introduced by GandhiSpiritual powerTemporal powerEconomical powerPower of workPolluted work (to dye, to clean toilets)
13The division of society into four ‘colours’ or castes (Varna) was developed in the Vedic period. (described in Manu’s code).The God Brahma created the primeval man from clay. The 4 varna derived from his limbs.
14Origins of the system of castes Main literary works of the Vedic period (ancient age, c B.C.)Rig-Veda (hymns, prayers and spells)Upanishads (explanatory comments on sacred texts)Mahabharata and Puranas (epic narrations)
15The main story of Mahabharata deals with a conflict several generations long over dynastic succession in the Bharata family that is told in about stanzas. The epic in its textual form contains numerous interpolated commentaries on matters of religion and philosophy, genealogy, history, folklore, and myth that quadruple its length to about stanzas. Through oral transmission the epic saw an almost never-ending accretion.
16Indian History ANCIENT INDIA Traces of man from early Paleolithic Aryan invasion theory (recently questioned): about the middle of II millennium B.C. India was invaded from northwest by the Aryans who established in the subcontinent a unifying civilization. The gradual change of color from light to dark skin as we move southwards fits in with a pattern of invasion which gradually pushed the previous populations before it. On the other hand modern excavations brought to light the existence of urban civilizations, antedating the Aryan period, extensively devoted to trade with Mesopotamia (about B.C.)
19The Aryans original home possibly south Russia pastoral and agricultural people living in villages made no attempt to occupy the cities they overcame inferior in material civilization superior in political and military organization
22The Aryan civilization moved eastward Sanskrit emerged as national language VI century B.C. end of the Vedic period, a new intellectual and spiritual climate see the rise of Buddhism and Jainism B.C. Alexander the Great’ s invasion in North-west India
24 180 B.C. – 200 A.D. foreign invasions in northern India (Greeks, Parthians, Tukhara) III century classical age of Indian civilization Literature, art, science and philosophy evolved the forms they were to retain in successive years Northern India was reunited under the dynasty of the Guptas.
26A.D. Dynastic rivalries, northern India was divided into a number of separate states (the Arab conquest of Sind in 712 was merely an episode and it was not until Islam had been firmly established in the area of modern Afghanistan that the Moslem conquest of India became possible)
27ISLAMIC INDIA XIII- XVI cent ISLAMIC INDIA XIII- XVI cent. The Sultanate of Delhi was ruled by 5 successive dynasties (Metcalf, p ) In XIV cent. the sultanate attained its greater extent reaching Kashmir. After that it began to decline and divide into different regional reigns. Incursions led by Tamerlane occurred in 1399.
29Mughal India 1526 beginning of the Mogul Empire Babur descended from Tamerlane and Jenghiz Khan, his ambition was to recover the territories of the vast Mongolian empire. Ousted from central Asia he had to take refuge in Afhganistan from which he attacked India. At his death in 1530 he controlled the greater part of northern India.
31Akbar ( ) was the greatest Mogul emperor extending his dominions, practising a conciliatory policy towards Hindu subjectsAkbar was remembered as the greatest moghul exponent. He not only expanded the geographical dominions of the empire in the subcontinent, he practised a policy of integration between the islamic and the hindu culture. He abolished the odious tax that was enforced upon the non-muslim subjects. He founded a sort of filosophical school where exponents of the various religions were hosted and there was the attempt to mix different creeds and to homogenize different elements into one universal religion.
32Shah Jahan (reigns , imprisoned by his son ) patronized culture, the arts and architectureTaj mahal, regal tomb and the red fort of AgraShah Jahan is remembered above all as a patron of the arts and architecture. He was very keen on one of his spouses (the first wife Mumtaz Mahal who gave him many children). When she died, giving birth to her 12° son, Shah Jahan ordered to build the Taj Mahal where his loved wife was to be buried. He spent his last years emprisoned by his son Aurangzeb in the Red Fort of Agra, from which he could see the Taj Mahal. When he died he was buried in the taj mahal beside his beloved wife. The only rupture of simmetry in the monument is represented by the tomb of the emperor because it was designed to host in the very centre only one burial. He was also remembered for the Peacock throne.
33Aurangzeb ( ) is considered the chief cause of the decline of Mogul empire for his political as well as religious intolerance and bigotry. Hindus were excluded from public office, some of their schools and temples were destroyed, the tax on non-Moslems was reintroduced.
34The successors were puppets controlled by favourites and court factions, Northern India was invaded by Nadir shah of Persia (Peacock throne and Koh-i-Nor diamond were ransacked). Foreign invasion were not the causes but the symptoms of Mogul decline.
35Babur the conqueror and the decadent last emperor Babur ,the first emperor of the mogul Empire was a warrior, the last representantive was a decadent puppet in the hands of the new power: the colonial power of the British Following 1725 the empire declined rapidly, weakened by wars of succession, agrarian crises fueling local revolts, the growth of religious intolerance, the rise of the Maratha, Durrani, and Sikh empires and finally British colonialism. The last king, Bahadur Zafar Shah II, whose rule was restricted to the city of Delhi, was imprisoned and exiled by the British after the Indian Rebellion of 1857
37Mughal Art (refined court life) watercolorwatercolor
38COLONIAL INDIA: european settlements Portoguese IndiaThe quest for India was begun by Portugal. In 1498 Vasco da Gama anchored off Calicut, in 1500 Cochin became the first trading headquarters in India, Goa became the capital of Portuguese possessions.The first European country to arrive in India for colonial purpose was Portugal. As was only natural the first colonial settlements were on the coast, from which it was easier to control warehouses and to organize commercial shipping of the goods (above all spices, tea, stones, silk and later on cotton). The first and most important settlements were on the west coast where still nowadays we find the little state of Goa.
39British empireBorrowing the expression from Charles V empire (XVI th cent.) it was said that the British possession in XIXth cent. constituted an empire where the sun never set. It embraced all continents. The indian subcontinent was the most precious stone in the imperial diadem.
41British Raj in XIXth century A mix of direct and indirect rule
42The English East India Company was established in 1600 The English East India Company was established in In the first half of XVII cent. it obtained various concessions from the Mogul Empire: first trading posts were Surat, Agra, then Calcutta and later on Bombay. The commercial settlements were soon fortified. Rivalry arose with the Portuguese, defeated by the English fleet.In XVIII cent. the European rivals were English, French and Dutch. Gradually the East India company emerged as the dominant authority: it was able to obtain the concession to collect and administer the revenues in Bengal, Bihar and Orissa paying the emperor an annual tribute.
43Indian Mutiny 1857 the great revolt of the Bengal native army led to transference of government to the crown. Due to many causes it was accompanied by rebellion of the population and some of chieftains. The pretext for revolt was the introduction of a new rifle whose cartridges, lubricated with pig’s and cow’s grease, had to have their ends bitten off by the sepoys.Indian MutinyOrIndian Rebellion
441858 Government of India act 1876 Victoria Empress of India The British empire Culture education politics society economyPros?AgainstPaternalismRacism (town conception, admission to civil service)Militarism, authoritarianism (Amritsar massacre)Exploitation (colonial economy)Reinforcement of caste system and religious divisions (divide et impera)Unification of the countryCodification of lawsUse of English as vehicular languageCultural vitality of anglicised élitesTechnological development (trains, telegraph, mail service)Social reforms (age of consent bill, abolition of sati)Unified Educational system
46Towards independence: Gandhian non violent movement II world war The Congress and the Muslim League India Pakistan and civil war
47In 1946 after a series of violent riots and fights between Hindu –Sikhs and Muslims, the Congress Party decided to accept the request of the Muslim League for a separate and independent Muslim state.The British authorities were informed and in three months Sir Cyril Radcliffe drew Wagah (successively sadly known as the line of hatred)
48The narration of the nation: Gandhi and Nehru, the noble fathers of the nation Nehru A Tryst with Destiny
50The narration of the nation India 1947-8 The bright side: Independence celebrationsThe dark side:Partition and civil war
51“We crossed the border at Wagah. I don’t know what I had been expecting. Blue rivers and green plains, tigers and elephants, forest-covered mountains. All the wonders we had been promised about the Indian side. But the landscape didn’t change. It had the same scrub and wild brush, the same dirt and heat.”(Manil Suri, The Age of Shiva)
52The territorial woundMuslims said the Hindus had planned and started the killing. According to the Hindus, the Muslims were to blame. The fact is, both sides killed. Both shot and stabbed and speared and clubbed. Both tortured. Both raped. (K. Singh, Train to Pakistan)
531948 Gandhi murdered by a Hindu fundamentalist INDEPENDENT INDIA1948 Gandhi murdered by a Hindu fundamentalistNehru and the new Indian order,Zamindari abolition(V. Seth, A Suitable Boy)Gandhi’s DynastyIndira Gandhi (removepoverty campaign)EmergencySecular state Vs the idea of a confessional stateAgrarian reforM against big landowners
54The golden temple of Amritsar assassination by Sikh bodyguard Sanjay Gandhi’s child birth control (Rohinton Mistry, A Fine Balance) Communalist policy,The golden temple of Amritsarassassination by Sikh bodyguardRajiv Gandhi’s economic liberalism, communalist policy and assassination by Tamil terroristABDUCTED PEOPLE IN THE TEMPLE
55CONTEMPORARYINDIAVivacity and contrastsLiberalism in economy, technological innovation, cultural globalization, backward castes policy, religious tensions, nuclear weapons, Kashmir unsolved question, female emancipation and persecution (S. Rusdie, India’s 50th anniversary)
56THE ENGLISH NOVEL IN INDIA Thomas Macaulay, A minute on Indian Education, 1835English Education act, 1835G. Viswanathan, “The Beginnings of English Literary Study in British India”
57THEORETICAL ANALYTICALPERSPECTIVES Gramsci, Foucault, BhabhaGramscian persuasion about primacy of culturein the exercise of power“The supremacy of a social group manifests itself in twoways: as domination and as intellectual and moral leadership.… It seems clear that there can, and indeed must behegemonic activity even before the rise of power, and thatone should not count only on the material force which power gives in order to exercise an effective leadership’(Prison Notebooks)(British books constituted about 95 % of book imports in India between 1850 and 1900)
592) Multi-focal multi-centred nature of Power relationships M. Foucault, La volontà di sapere, pp. 82-6;3) Overcoming binary representation of the relationColonizer/colonizedH. Bhabha, The Location of Culture“The language of critique is effective not because it keeps forever separate the terms of the master and the slave, … but to the extent to which it overcomes the given grounds of opposition and opens up a space of translation: a political object that is new, neither the one nor the other, properly alienates our political expectations, and changes, as it must, the very forms of our recognition of the moment of politics.”
60“My illustration attempts to display the importance of the hybrid moment of political change: Here the transformational value of change lies in rearticulation, or translation, of elements, that are neither the One … nor the Other … but something else besides, which contests the terms and territories of both.”“Cultures are never unitary in themselves, nor simply dualistic in the relation of Self to Other…”
61“The reason a cultural text or system of meaning cannot be sufficient unto itself is that the act of cultural enunciation – the place of utterance – is crossed by the différance of writing. … The production of meaning requires that these two spaces be mobilised in the passage through a third space …[which] constitutes the discursive conditions of enunciation that ensure that the meaning and symbols of culture have no primordial unity or fixity; that even the same signs can be appropriated, translated, rehistoricised and read anew.”“… agency is the activity of the contingent.”“… agency is realized outside the author.”
62Indigenization of the novel “… a transaction between two unequal, and unequally motivated, sides in an encounter that, despite its unevenness, was still characterized by exchange of some sort.”(P. Joshi)“…Indian readers then writers transmuted an imported and alien form into local needs that inspired and sustained them across many decades.” (P. Joshi)
63Cultural colonization English Literature of ‘serious standard’ was introduced to ‘educate’ colonized people. British books constituted 95% of book imports into India between 1850 and 1900 and were present in equivalent percentages among Indian library holdings.
64Consumption practices Numerous public and circulating libraries emerged to provide books at small expense or for free.While fiction constituted about a third of the total holdings of a library it was requested up to three times more often than the other forms.Indians preferred popular fiction: romance and melodrama resonated with the circularity and intricacy of the epic plot of, for example, the Mahabharata and the Ramayana full of interconnections and coincidences.
65Reading publicThe reading public included: civil servants, university and school teachers, students, minor ranks of the aristocracy, merchants, clerks. It was predominantly male and metropolitan. A greater majority read English novels translated into regional language.
66The novel as a site of agency The novel acquired a social agency that was peculiarly Indian. It became a new form involved in inventing and representing the self; it provided its readers with a new language for figuring out the emerging social relations associated with modernity. In many cases the novel with its populistic and sentimentalist overtones became one of the most powerful vehicles for anti-colonial feelings.
67Locations of agencyThe majority of literary English production entered India through the ports of Calcutta and Bombay. These two capitals were more open to Western cultural influence and at the same time gave life to the most powerful anti-colonial movements (The Great Mutiny and the Swadeshi movement emerged in Bengal, Gandhi from Bombay Presidency)
68From reading to producing Sometimes Indian authors gave up English and retained the novel formBankim Chandra Chatterjee wrote in Bengali; although he was also an essayist, historian, philosopher and social thinker his fame rested on his novels: he was called ‘Scott of Bengal’. Anandamath, 1882, a historical novel is his most widely known work: the setting is XVIII century rural Bengal, a time of famine during which a local insurgency seeks to overthrow a cruel and unjust political order of weak and decadent Muslim rulers and British tax collectors.
69The mystic leader of the rebellion recurs to the figure of Mother India ravaged by occupiers. The historical dislocation served as a device to host contemporary political feelings. A past in which Indians are present as actors and not as passive and defeated people. As the novel passed from serialised to book form it underwent a progressive softening of its anti-colonial tones, often replacing the term ‘English’ with ‘Muslim’.
70Various editions of the novel The movie released in 1952
71In writers published in Urdu a collection of innovative short stories Angarey (Burning Embers) characterized by frank depiction of sex and a general irreverence towards religion. (ex: a wet dream during a nap with the head on an open Koran) The book was condemned from Mosques’ pulpits as un-Muslim; the British government for fear of public riots banned the book.
72One of the 4 was Ahmed Ali, Twilight in Delhi (1940) In response the 4 writers wrote a manifesto which was to become the first document of the All-India Progressive Writers’ AssociationThe movement was equally directed against internal orthodoxy and ignorance as well as foreign dominationOne of the 4 was Ahmed Ali, Twilight in Delhi (1940)
73From Urdu to English“…Ali’s use of English is partly to reach the widest possible audience both in India and abroad. However… Ali imports into his English novel Urdu forms borrowed from poetry and ghazals that are themselves the product of borrowings from Arabic, Persian, and Hindustani…”(P. Joshi)
74Twilight in Delhi records the effects of cultural and social decay on a Delhi Muslim family; in particular the patriarch Mir Nihal has a sensitive awareness ofpast greatness but little comprehension of the ongoing demise.The action takes place between 1911(coronationin Delhi of George V) and1919 (Rowlatt Bills whichallowed British judgesto try cases without juries)
75From English to the Indian novel in Indian-English: the revolution of S. Rushdie A fiction written in a robustly vernacular English, manifestly hybrid, mixing the novel with diverse narrative forms both of the modern languages of cinema, television, journalism etc. and of old traditional Indian genres such as the oral epic
76The watershed: Midnight’s Children “I became a writer at the moment I found a narrative voice for Midnight’s Children and that was finding a literary equivalent of that oral narrative from India that had kept the audience rapt for thousands of years”
77Oral traditionWhile Bankim’s narrator took its cue from the serious and judgemental narrator of the written epic, Rushdie’s clearly comes from the jesting, jocular figure of the oral tradition whose fallacy inspired the unreliable narrator in M.C., Saleem Sinai
78All-comprehensiveness of M.C. Saleem Sinai states that an entire universe can be understood from his life; his personal story reflecting India’s history. (a commonplace for an audience raised on the Mahabharata: “Whatever is in the Mahabharata can be found elsewhere; but what isn’t in it can be found nowhere.”
79Midnight’s Children History Multiplying Meaning Whereas Bankim’s narrator helped stabilize meaning, Rushdie’s, taking his inspiration from the circular structure of the oral epic and the tendency to change and adjust while repeating…, multiplies meaning.History in M.C. is not so much rendered fantasy, as fantasy and fabulation are rendered possible and even respectable forms of acquiring historical knowledge.
80The novel’s agencyIn the hands of Rushdie the novel becomes a means to address issues surrounding modernity such as citizenship, subjectivity, identity, community and communalism, religion and politics, nation and nationalism besides aesthetical concerns about meta-fiction, inter- textual play, the role of the narrator, narrative perspectivism etc.
81The novel’s agency: nation and narration Rushdie creates a curious myth of the nation: instead of celebrating its moment of glorious birth after a heroic liberation struggle, he interrogates its unglamorous middle age tainted by communal unrest and the threat of separatist violence.
82The novel’s agencyBut in seizing the authority to tell their own versions of history, sociology, politics, his novels vindicate the right to master their own fantasies and world pictures. The fact that these novels exist marks the liberation of an Indian voice from the ‘official’ and ‘objective’ reality answering the mandate of imperialist culture. They articulate versions of Indian history and identity rendering them plural, just ‘legends’ that make up reality, revealing in a post-modernistic way the fictional nature of reality itself.
83The contemporary Indian novel in English In 1980 S. Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children transformed the Indian novel in English in an international phenomenon opening the way to dozens of ensuing literary cases.
84Indian writers in English before Rushdie:Mulk Raj Anand, Raja Rao, R. K. Narayan, Khushwant Singh, V. S. Naipaul, Kamala Markandaya, Anita Desai (she already wrote but declared a debt to Rushdie) et al.after Rushdie:Shashi Deshpande, Shashi Tharoor, Amitav Ghosh, Vikram Seth, Arundhati Roy, Vikram Chandra, Rukun Advani, Upamanyu Chatterjee, Anita Nair, Manju Kapur, Vikas Swarup, Kiran Desai, , Kamala Das, Aravind Adiga
85Diasporic voicesV. S. Naipaul, Hanif Kureishi, Monica Ali, Nadeem Aslam, Jhumpa Lahiri, Rohinton Mistry, Bapsi Sidhwa, Amid Chauduri, Chitra Divakaruni, Ardashir Vakil, et al.Indian DiasporaBefore Partition: towards the empire (Mauritius, Fiji, Tanzania, Kenia, South Africa, Trinidad as indentured labourers)After Partition: GB, USA, Canada as emigrants
86Priyamvada Gopal, The Indian English Novel Priyamvada Gopal, The Indian English Novel. Nation, History, and Narration, Oxford and New York, O. U. P., 2009Introduction Chapter 1 Making English India Chapter 5 Midnight’s Legacies Chapter 6 Bombay and the novel Chapter 8 The Literature of Migration Conclusions
88works Grimus Midnight’s Children Shame The Satanic Verses Haroun and the Sea of StoriesEast, West (short stories)The Moor’s Last SighThe Ground beneath her FeetFuryShalimar the ClownThe Enchantress of FlorenceJoseph Anton (autobiography)
89Hibridity in the plot of The Moor's Last Sigh The novel tells the family history of Moraes Zogoiby, known as "the Moor." He descends from the Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama (ca ), who sailed to India in search of spice and whose offspring grew rich in shipping it to the West. Among his ancestors, Moraes also numbers Boabdil ( ), the last Muslim king in Spain, forced in 1492 to surrender his city to Ferdinand and Isabella. The spot from which Boabdil gazed for the last time at Granada is today a tourist attraction, known as 'The Last Sigh of the Moor.' His descendents took as their family name his nickname "Zogoiby" - "The Unfortunate." Another branch of the family descended from Black Jews who immigrated to Cochin, India, and built a synagogue in 1568.
90The Moor as S. Rushdie/ The Moor as India/ The Moor as Bombay (between metaphor and allegory) The Moor is doomed to go through his life at double speed (fatwa/Bombay). Aged 36, but with the physique of a 72, he narrates the fantastic story of his life within his family saga (plurality of India). He, imprisoned in a fake Alhambra built by a mad artist in Andalusia (fatwa), looks back at the end of his life upon his brilliant, ruined family and on the India he knew as a young man, a lost paradise (Bombay) of possibilities which has been dilapidated through the sins of hatred, factionalism, and ethnic and religious intolerance. The watershed events of modern India history regularly protrude into his story: independence, partition, emergency, Hindu fundamentalism (India and Bombay)
91symbolismThe deformed, club-handed Moraes is an emblem of India in the same way that Gunter Grass’s Oskar in The Tin Drum stands in his deformity for the paradoxes of nazi and post-war Germany.The double-speed which characterizes his life recalls the sense of urgency experimented by the death-sentenced author who was afraid of not having as much time as he had thought before the fatwa and at the same time it stands for a widespread sense of acceleration in life and change. It also is a metaphor of the urban explosion of post-war Bombay.
92Symbolism141-3, 145-7, 161-2, 184, 188, 197, , 221, 223, 225, 315-6India=Spain 1492, from tolerance and plurality of creeds to communalist violence, from multiculturalism to expulsion of Jews and MuslimsMother = Aurora, Indira, Bombay, India: ambivalence of a relationship made of love/hatred, care/violence, belonging/refusal India’s plurality 31, 62, 70-1, hybridity 82, 226-7, 398, 408, love as hybridity 289, 433 broken hopes 33, 51, 129 Mother India 59-61, 137, 203-4, 288, Bombay 350, 372, 376
93The Moor’s Last Sigh Title 160-1 Novel as a form of agency 219 Novel as a form of agency 219Autobiography 55, 130, 152-3, 163-4, 221, 286-7, 290, 371, 388, 414, 430, 434
94HISTORY colonial history 4, 19, 87 art history 16, art and colonial history 17modern age 79-81contemporary hist. 118, 309, 335, communalism 295, 262, 299, 338-9, 363, 365, independence 165-6emergency 209, 234,social history 306, women’s place in society 183,
95Language:179 “Most people in India are multilingual, and if you listen to the urban speech patterns there you’ll find it’s quite characteristic that a sentence will begin in one language, go through a second language and end in a third. It’s very playful.”(S. Rushdie)languages 278-9, 322, 413
98ARAVIND ADIGA’s worksThree stories of violence and murder in a grotesque styleThe White Tiger: the servant kills his master and the reasons why …Between the Assassinations: collection of short stories (unequivocal title)Last Man in Tower: how good and friendly people can become murderes
99Literary genre: Realism and Satire The author expresses his indignation and his pessimism by means of social critique and psychological satire (the apparently good people such as Ibrahim Kudwa and Mrs Puri are the most ferocious, the apparently more cynical such as Ramesh Ajwani prove the less murderous). The murderers are not punished. There is no social justice and no happy ending. The stories are not tragic in tone but grotesque: ironical distance between style and content .
100Symbolism and metaphors: Vishram society like Nerhuvian India, politically secularist, religiously multiconfessional, culturally multilingual. Masterji embodies the values and hopes of the post-independence nation-state. Mumbai and its turbulent advance represents Globalization and the economical drives of neo-liberism.
101VIOLENCE IN INDIACastal violence, social unjustice, political corruption, religious fanaticism (traditional evils of Indian society)are investigated as sources of rebellion in the first two works of Adiga. The culprits are not punished (Balram, the murderer had been previously pursued for a crime he had not committed)In his third work the source of violence is greed conceived as a social force connected to the new economy of late capitalism. Money is stronger than any other value (friendship, honesty, loyalty)
102I. Chambers, “Borders and Beyond” If the market was once apparently subservient and subject to the political and social demands imposed by the state, today, it is the state and its politics that is increasingly shaped and disciplined by the requirements of the market. So changes, and rather sharp ones, do occur. The political economy that sustains the reasons of the market is itself the result of certain political and cultural conceptions being transformed into practice and achieving a hegemonic hold on public understanding.
103Mumbai as setting/setting as protagonist The story of Last Man in Tower is located in Mumbai, the biggest Indian city and one of the biggest megalopolises of the world. Mumbai is the commercial and entertainment capital of India, it is also one of the world's top 10 centres of commerce in terms of global financial flow, accounting for 25% of industrial output, 70% of maritime trade in India and 70% of capital transactions to India's economy
104MUMBAIPopulation growth in the City district o Island City (South Mumbai),970,575,243,405,925,891 20,914,398,478,447In the Suburban district today there are about 20,000,000 inhabitants
106“...a new kind of world place is heralded, one that condenses all the contradictions of postmodernity and late-capitalism – the global city.” Rashmi Varma The Postcolonial City and its Subjects. (2012)
107Rashmi Varma, The Postcolonial City and its Subjects Rashmi Varma, The Postcolonial City and its Subjects. London, Nairobi, BombayThe postcolonial city confronts the contradictions of postcolonial state-making, late-capitalist development, and the polarizing effects of their discrepant diffusions and distribution. Consequently, the postcolonial city is where some of the most concentrated asymmetries of power exist; it is also the space where new political subjectivities are created through the very processes of marginalization and peripheralization…
109Mumbai, global cityIndia’s cities house the entire historical compass of human labour, from the crudest stone-breaking to the most sophisticated financial transactions. Success and failure, marble and mud, are intimately and abruptly pressed against one another, and this has made the cities vibrate with agitated experience. (Sunil Khilnani, in The Idea of India, 109)
110Global city as Contact zone The spatial and temporal co-presence of subjects previously separated by geographic and historical disjunctures, and whose trajectories now intersect (M. L. Pratt)
112GENRE Maximum City mixes the languages of Essay Journalism AutobiographyIt is a mix of social investigation and analysis of cultural aspects and customsIt exploits the technique of narrative fictionIt can be defined as a sort of ‘personal docu-fiction’
113MAXIMUM CITY Part I: Power (see students’ power point) Part II: Pleasure: Sex, Cinema and Crime:THE ROLE OF IMAGINATIONImagination as social structure: Appadurai, Modernity at Large Cultural Dimensions of Globalization (1996), p
114Mumbai : A city for Fiction (R. Ciocca) Compared to Chicago in the 1920s and New York post September 11, 2001, it is the capital of modernizing India, the sum of its contradictions, the dream of its potential, the nightmare of its delusions. It is not only a capital of the industry of images but is itself a very source of fiction: an aestheticized metropolitan scene inspiring stories and lifestyles. It is a fundamental hub in the financial world network but at the same time has a massive concentration of abject poverty …Mumbai, “ … is a city of multiple aliases, like gangsters and whores”(Mehta,15).
115Sex, Crime, CinemaTransgression is the subtext of many activities, and crime, in the social imagination, proves a powerhouse of models and myths at least as exciting as those of cinema itself: glamorous, flamboyant lifestyles being the prerogative of gangsters as well as of film stars. Night-life occupies the shared stage in this folly. Bollywood’s entanglements with the criminal underworld of Bombay have been repeatedly emphasysed in fictional and journalistic mappings of the town (from Rushdie to Roberts, from Mehta to Chandra)
116which have showed by and large how illicit earnings are often laundered in the mega-budget productions of the dream factory. What is more interesting, however, is the contiguity of the two world-pictures and their reciprocal reinforcement in inducing ways of life. Not only do the dons figure as press heroes as much as Bollywood celebrities, but they are also romanticized by the movies as in the gangland glory period of the Chicago prohibition era. A special affinity binds the two worlds, including also spectators in a special complicity which reinforces the pleasure of stepping beyond limits in a projected, and thus safe, world of every possible excess.(Ciocca, See: Mehta p. 380)
117Being rooted in the hearts of people as the city of dreams come true, Mumbai has become the destination of massive immigration from the poorest areas of the nation. At least since independence and increasingly after, Bombay has figured in the minds of Indians as the land of wondrous opportunities and terrible temptations, of wealth and corruption, of happiness and disillusionment, of success and downfall. With its emancipatory anonymity in a land of compelling traditions and rigid social constraints, Bombay represented in post-independence India a more fluid receptacle of democratic aspirations. Its gigantic urban cauldron was brimming over with opportunities; its attractions had the giddy effects of feeding hopes about self-made destinies. What lodged this fascination in thepopular fantasy was Hindi cinema.(Ciocca)
118Today, with the ever-increasing audience of Bollywood, and the worldwide success and the Oscar awards acclamation of Slumdog Millionaire (another fable of social and love dreams fulfilled, set by the English director in contemporary Mumbai), these places are familiar to a globalized public and Mumbai begins to rival more traditional urban cinema sets.Having in the meantime become the world capital of commercial cinema, Mumbai has transformed the ethos of the somehow radical cinema of the 1950s, enlivened by a nationalist vision of an inclusive, secular India, into the mirror-house of capitalist, glossy, sophisticated success. Cinemas are now seen as ‘temples of desires’.(Ciocca)
119The hold that Bollywood’s average product has on Indian imagination, not only in the subcontinent but also overseas, not only on the traditional middle-class audience but also on the hungrily desirous, self-projecting proletariat, is usually that of an affluent, smooth and glossy world of pleasure and self-complacency. If for a ‘mediascape’ one intends, again with Appadurai, a large and complex repertoire of images and narratives which feed throughout the world a sense of belonging disconnected from territorialization, Mumbai has become for all Indians, in and out of the subcontinent, the quintessential centre of an imaginary Indian landscape or ‘mediascape’, created by the intermingled agencies of diasporic memory, desire and the media.
120MEDIASCAPESAppadurai lists 5 different but overlapping types of ‘constructed landscapes’(global cultural flows of imagination upon which or from which people build their sense of identity)Technoscapes, Financescapes (p.34)Ethnoscapes, Mediascapes, Ideoscapes (Appadurai p.33, 35, 38)
121Historical instruments of cultural interactions Warfare and commerce (antiquity and Middle Ages)Products of ‘print capitalism’ B. Anderson (Early Modernity)Modern forms of transport (industrial revolution)Information and Communication ‘the global village’ Marshall McLuhan (XXth century)Electronic media now create ‘communities with no sense of place’ while imagination is a particularly powerful fuel of identification.
122Appadurai: Mediascapes The Net ( , e-work, social networks, matrimonial sites, chats, virtual reality, second lives...)Electronic media transform the field of mass mediation because they offer new ways and new languages for the construction of imagined subjectivities and imagined worlds.The Net is a space in which individuals and groups annex the global into their own practices of technological modernity.Vernacular globalization Vs cultural homogenization: Appadurai, p. 10