Menippean Satire or Counter-Realism? Questions of Genre in Postcolonial Indian Fiction in English by Menen, Desani, Rushdie, and Sealy

Friedman, Amy L.. 2008. Menippean Satire or Counter-Realism? Questions of Genre in Postcolonial Indian Fiction in English by Menen, Desani, Rushdie, and Sealy. Post-Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

The focus of my argument is that much of the counter-realist elements in postcolonial writing can be better understood in the more traditional terms of Menippean satire. I explore this premise in works by a cohort of four South Asian authors of satire who have never previously been examined in concert as such: Aubrey Menen, G.V. Desani, Salman Rushdie, and I. Allan Sealy. My investigations have uncovered connections of influence and resonance which make an assiduous case for considering their work as Menippean satire, running counter to extant critical discussions of experimentalism in postcolonial fiction which tend to describe counter-realism in terms of anti-realism, post-realism, and magic realism. In examining Menippean satire I will also be addressing the current wide use of the term, and suggesting that an over-emphasis on its counter-realist and hybrid elements has led to an unfortunate disregard of its roots in satire. Respective chapters on Menen and Desani look at their use of intertextual juxtapositions which begin to shape a postcolonial emphasis on revision and renewal of novelistic language and form. This emphasis is borne out in my examination of Rushdie's Menippean experiments with language and the rhetorical device of ekphrasis to break down boundaries between cultures, histories, and even art forms to depict a hybrid model of global society. I interpret Sealy's perpetual reformatting of the novel in each new work as a series of Menippean challenges to form which assert alternative narrative perspectives and relocate literary traditions. My conclusion looks at the implications of expanding the current limited critical links between satire and postcolonial literature in general, based on my examination of a body of work that connects to and updates the longstanding tradition of Menippean satire.

Item Type:

Thesis (Post-Doctoral)

Identification Number (DOI):

https://doi.org/10.25602/GOLD.00028919

Keywords:

Menippean Satire, Counter-Realism, Genre, Postcolonial Literature, Indian Fiction in English, Menen, Desani, Rushdie, Sealy, Influence, Resonance

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

English and Comparative Literature

Date:

2008

Item ID:

28919

Date Deposited:

30 Jun 2020 14:53

Last Modified:

30 Jun 2020 14:54

URI:

http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/28919

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