Salman Rushdie's Short Story Cycle East, West: A Deconstruction of the Traditional Images of Orient and Occident and a Questioning of the Inviolable

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GRIN Verlag, 2007 - 40 pages
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Seminar paper from the year 2005 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Literature, grade: 1,0, University of Stuttgart (Institut fur Literaturwissenschaft - Neuere Englische Literatur), course: Literary Studies: "Late Imperial to Postcolonial Literature," 9 entries in the bibliography, language: English, comment: This was the best paper of the whole course Double spaced, abstract: Considering the title of Rushdie's short story cycle East, West one question quickly evolves in the recipient's mind: Does the comma in the title stand for a separator keeping apart two cultural blocks, namely an Eastern and a Western world, or can it also be considered as a linking bridge? However, when reading Rushdie's colourful stories it becomes clear that he even goes far beyond this bridge notion. The author doesn't only try to link or reconcile the two parts but he as a migrant between the two worlds ironically plays with the traditional images of Orient and Occident: By applying a huge variety of genre, styles, structures and techniques he finally deconstructs the traditional notions of the two entities. In doing so he undermines the reader's conventional assumptions about the East and West and makes clear that in recent times reality cannot be pressed into or described by such simple schemes any longer. When Rushdie writes that "literature is, of all the arts, the one best suited to challenging absolutes of all kinds," this is exactly what he does in "East, West." Nothing is "sacred" any longer, and thus most of the stories can be considered as attempts to ironically challenge and deconstruct sanctities and weak sides of Eastern and Western culture. By this critique he makes clear that within the global village these two parts of the world are closely interrelated and cannot be considered as opposing entities. Thus, Rushdie goes beyond the common debates about whether there is a divide of the world into East and West or not. However, as the short storie"
 

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