Seminar paper from the year 2003 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Literature, grade: 64 % , University of Sussex (University of Sussex - Humanities), course: Postcolonial Perspectives, 3 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: In my essay, I will talk about Midnight’s Children (1995,ed.) by Salman Rushdie and E.M. Forster’s A Passage to India (1989,ed.). I may not always be totally directed towards the essay question but make a general comparison of the two novels as well. I will discuss the way in which India is presented in both texts and talk about national identity. In modern literature, often the private is political and the political is private. In reality it’s not. Cultures and societies function totally different from individuals. But both Forster and Rushdie use their characters as metaphors for their countries and cultures. A novel lives from its characters and allows deep insights in their minds, foremost its hero’s and its narrator’s. Saleem is the main character of Midnight’s Children and tells his lifestory to Padma, in A Passage to India there is an omniscent narrator who comments a few times on his own account. Rushdie’s Saleem is modern India and the relationships between Forster’s characters symbolize the cultural conflict of the Empire and its colony. Saleem’s family history and genealogy is the Indian history, with its complex mixture of British imperialism and traditional Indian culture. East vs. West, and Rushdie admits the British a prominent role in modern India. Even though they were usurpators the Indians seem to have taken over parts of British culture and try to make their way into modernity, which is a Western, occidental, project. The linkage between history and fiction, Saleem and India, is obvious. Rushdie tries to tell the story of his country and he is probably aiming at a Western audience. The autobiographic impulses in his works are very important, and Saleem’s life and family tree has obvious similiarities to Rushdie’s. He makes excessive use of his creative freedom, and it is never clear where reality ends and fiction begins. He certainly wants to express with it the irrationality of Indian culture, its faible for myths and magic, surrealism. The novels were written and take place in totally different times: Midnight’s Children is postcolonial, A Passage to India takes place at the height of the British Empire, where its downfall is already visible, though. The novel has a definitely tragic, pessimistic and melancholic undertone, as many novels written at the turn of the century or after World War One, at the prime of novelwriting culture. The bourgeoise world, the creator of the genre, was falling apart; the mood at the end of the 19th century and inbetween the two world wars was definitely apocalyptic. Forster makes many references to the reality of the Indian and British relationship and the history of this colony, but his characters are not elevated to the representation of a whole nation as Saleem is.
Seminar paper from the year 2001 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Literature, grade: 1,5, University of Constance (Literaturwissenschaft), 10 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: The dandy has been one of the most fascinating and impressive phenomena of the 19th century. Even today, he seems to be an influence to some modern men. But what was the dandy, and how is he presented in literature, the place of his creation? Lord Arthur Goring, the dandy in Oscar Wilde ́s An Ideal Husband, is a narcissistic layabout with a colourful and complex personality, full of contradictions: He is at the same time cynical and mild, cold and compassionate, modern and aristocratic.
Seminar paper from the year 2003 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Literature, grade: 66%, University of Sussex (University of Sussex - Humanities), course: Postcolonial Perspectives, 3 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: I will not quite deal with the novel just under this focus, as the question was probably intended to be, but I will also discuss the book under the aspect of East and West, Orient and Occident ( if such separations are possible is certainly another question), and maybe make some references to Rushdie’s more recent novels the ground beneath her feet and Fury. Midnight’s Children tells the life story of two children who are born exactly at the stroke of midnight on August 15th 1947, the day India and Pakistan achieved their independence from Great Britain, in a Hospital in Bombay. They are exchanged at birth, and so the narrator, Saleem Sinai, grows up in a well-to-do Muslim family, while his later rival, Shiva, has to live in a low-caste Hindu environment. Shiva is not even raised by Saleem’s biological father, since his wife, who dies right away, has been unfaithful to her husband with a departing English colonist. Rushdie intermingles the life and family story of Saleem, who tells it, orally and in his probably dying days, to a young woman named Padma, with the history of the Indian subcontinent in his 30 years of life. Together with India, 1001 children ( see the reference to Princess Scheherezade and the Oriental, Arabian Stories of 1001 Nights) are born in the hour of midnight, who all develop special gifts, one can travel through time, the over can change sexes and Saleem becomes capable of telepathy, which makes him an omniscient narrator and, with Shiva closest to midnight and so most powerful, the possible head over the “midnight parliament”, in which he could gather all the Midnight’s Children to save the nation, but the project is not undertaken, because it would reveal Shiva, now a brutal killer and India’s greatest war hero, the truth about his parents. In this summary of the plot, which is not totally correct, I think, I have already done a little bit of interpretation, but now I will devote myself fully to the discussion of the essay question and the differences between East and West, as presented by Rushdie, and maybe point to a few developments he seems to have made in his recent novels.
Essay aus dem Jahr 2002 im Fachbereich Anglistik - Literatur, Note: unbenotet, Universität Konstanz (Literaturwissenschaft), 2 Quellen im Literaturverzeichnis, Sprache: Deutsch, Abstract: In dem Roman Fury von Salman Rushdie, wird Malik Solanka, ein ehemaliger Philosophieprofessor am King's College in Cambridge, der nun seinen Lebensunterhalt mit dem Herstellen von "intelligenten" Puppen verdient, immer wieder von starken Wutanfällen und extremen Gefühlsschwankungen heimgesucht. Seine innerlich stark verwurzelte Wut läßt ihn zu einer Gefahr für seine Mitmenschen werden: eines nachts steht er mit einem Messer in der Hand in seinem Schlafzimmer, bereit seine Ehefrau zu töten. Erschrocken über sich selbst verläßt Solanka seine eigentlich perfekte Familie, um alleine in New York mit der Wut, die in ihm so tobt, fertig zu werden.[...] Die Stadt wird in diesem erhitzten ersten Sommer des neuen Jahrtausends von einem Serienmörder, der es auf die jungen Damen der New Yorker High-Society abgesehen hat, heimgesucht. Solanka fängt zuerst eine gefährliche Affäre mit der weitaus jüngeren Mila Milo an, die in die Rolle seiner bekanntesten Puppe Little Brain schlüpft, bevor er sich unsterblich in Neela Mahendra, die Freundin seines guten Freundes Jack Rhinehart, einem schwarzen Journalisten, verliebt. Rhinehart gerät in Verbindung mit den Serienmördern, und kommt bald darauf selbst ums Leben. Inspiriert durch seine Liebe zu Neela, beginnt Malik ein neues Projekt für seine Puppen, Galileo-1, mit dem er immensen Erfolg hat. Die Welt die er dort geschaffen hat, wird in Neela's Heimatland Lilliput-Blefuscu zur Realität, die Bewohner "spielen" die imaginären Ereignisse nach, und es kommt zu einem Bürgerkrieg, dem Neela, die dorthin zurückgekehrt ist, zum Opfer fällt. Am Ende hat Malik Solanka zwar seine Wut besiegt, [...]sie hing mit einem Kindheitstrauma zusammen, doch er muß nun auf sich alleine gestellt sein Leben meistern. Fury ist ein Roman über die Moderne, und über die Probleme moderner und zwangsläufig zivilisierter Menschen. Professor Solanka steht nur stellvertretend für den modernen Menschen. In der folgenden Interpretation werde ich mich mit den verschiedenen Formen der Wut, die im Roman dargestellt werden, befassen. Ich werde dafür einige der männlichen Charaktere aus dem Roman, bei Rushdie ist die Wut vor allem ein männliches Phänomen, näher beschreiben, und versuchen zu erklären, warum die einzelnen Personen wütend sind, und was in ihnen so tobt. Dabei komme ich auch immer wieder auf das Zitat am Anfang zurück, das ich auch als These diskutieren werde.