ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Text and Pre-Text History as Gossip in rushdies novels

Rushdie's Novels Rukmini Bhaya Nair This paper argues that Rushdie's three main novels constitute a single coherent text, which creatively reorganises the received narratives of subcontinental history and Islamic religion. An explanation is offered for the furious reactions to Rushdie's novels, most especially to The Satanic Verses, in terms of the several discourse features of gossip that always attach to the fractious public themes in his text. Gossip, an underrated, conversational medium for private criticism is used anew by Rushdie as a devastating literary weapon against the claims of historical 'truth' and religious 'morality'. Like all satire, this text paradoxically works best when it wounds most.

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