Friday, May 17, 2013

‘Shame’ Narrative Technique in ‘Shame’ Or Non-fiction novel Or Anti-novel.

Narrative Technique in ‘Shame’ Or
Non-fiction novel Or Anti-novel.

v  Introduction:-
            In “Shame”, Rushdie heralds a novel technique in the field of Indo-Anglican fiction. He makes experiments with narrative techniques and usage of the English language. He shows a new direction in the art of narration. In this connection William Walsh remarks “Combining the elements of magic and fantasy, the grimmest realism, extravagant farce, multi mirrored analogy and a symbolic structure. Salman Rushdie has captured the astonishing energy of the novel unprecedented in scope, manner and achievement in the hundred and fit years old tradition of the Indian novels in English. 

v  The first Person Narrative Techniques:-
            Raja Rao was the first Indian novelist in English who made experiment with new narrative techniques. In “Kathapura”, he used a grandmother as the narrator. The old lady has herself participated in the freedom struggle. The first prose narrative technique is used by Kamala Markandaya in his novel where the narrator is again a grandmother who tells the story of her life. In ‘The Guide’ R.K. Narayana used the flashback techniques as we find some modern films.

v  A logical Narrative:-
            Salman Rushdie’s narrative technique in “Shame” goes beyond all the above technique. He realized that a story of an Indian sub-continent is generally so complex that it could not be described in a simple and straight-forward style. Besides social, political and historical realities in a sub-continent defies logical narrative. L.M. Ester faced the same problem of narrative when he wrote “A Passage to India. The old narrative tradition emphasized on story and plot-construction. While an awareness of the chaotic and complex nature of experience of Indian sub-continent led him to evolve a new theory of the novel which he describes in “Aspect of the Novel. He says, “Expansion is the idea that he novelist must cling to not completion, not rounding off but opening out? Thus Forster suggests that the novelist attempts to communicate through expensing and not trough any positive statement.

v  The Open Ended Technique:-
            Salman Rushdie uses the same open-ended technique in “Shame”. AS we fin “Khushwant Singh’s “Train to Pakistan”, Manohar Malgaonkar’s “A Band in the Ganges”, Atta Hussain’s “Sunlight on a Broken Colum and Chaman Nahal’s “Azad”. Here Rushdie also transmutes facts of history into a significant work of art. This novel is not merely a political history but it is a fantasy also. Ashutosh Banergee remark, ‘Shame achieves a singular synthesis between the recent Anglo-American genre of “non-fiction novel and far older one of political allegory. The narrative technique of this novel also rits into the mode of post modernist fantasy based on uncertainly of perception and meaning. There are no easy notions of objective reality. This novel is at once experimental, interrogative, confessional, polemical and subjective. Here we Chronological autobiographical and social-historical dimension of narrative.

v  Use of Parody
            Rushdie is a master of parody. He says that when individuals come unstuck from their native land, hey are called migrants. When nation do the same thing (Bangladesh, the act is secession. He further says I may be such a person, Pakistan may be such a country” the following dialogue between Omar and Farah is a parody of a courtship. He tells her, “The sight of you through my beloved telescope gave me the strength to break my mother’s power’, she replies, “Voyeur, I split on your words, you balls dropped too son and you got the shots, no more to it than that. Don’t load your family problems on to me.
v  Great Use of Word & Phrases
            Rushdie cleverly and artistically plays the game of words and phrases. He is  a master manufactures of beautiful phrases. They are diffused all over this novel. For example, he call Biquis Raza, ‘Khansi ki Rani’ or ‘Queen of Coughs’. He describes medical student’s instruments as small aluminum etherizing box in which to murder frogs. He describes Doctor Khayyam’s Stethoscope as ‘the weapon of leaving over his hsouler. He pass very bitter remarks on Omar’s three-mother-in0on “Wolf children, sucked on the feral multiple breasts of a hairy moon\howling dame.

v  His Unique use of Language:-
            Rushdie playfully introduces new language rhythms in this novel. He makes use of the north Indian vernacular language habits such as double usage of the same word, ‘chhi chhi’. In “Midnight Children”, Padma covers her ears and says, “My God, such a dirty-filthy man, I never knew!’ In “Shame” character says, “Put here and there and there some secreted panels which can shoot out eighteen inches stiletto blades sharp, sharp. Hasmat Bibi says, “Only child, always, always, they live in their poor head. The three male servants laugh and says, “listening to you baba, we are thinking this house has grown so huge huge, there must not be room for anywhere else in the world . Sometimes Rushdie uses befitting vernacular word and phrases quite effectively. He says, “Your fatherji is sending himself to the devil” he further says, “You stop being someone’s daughter and become someone’s mother instead, ek dum, fat-a-fut-. Sometime the novel translates vernacular idiom into English, such ‘donkey from somewhere’. And ‘all these person left simultaneously after a very few moments with having broken bead or eaten salt”. Sometime he uses metaphorical English language form simple native word. For example, he sues the phrase, “garment of womanly honour for the word ‘duplatta’ for which he could have used a simple word like scarf’.

v  Different modes of narrative:-
Here we often find frequent shifts of perspective end drifts of narrative into a dream. Sometimes the narrative shifts from the third person to the first person. That way, no individual entity is maintained throughout the novel. The story does not move ahead on a clear chronological out. The unities of time and place are also not continuously observed throughout the novel. Omar use different modes of narrative to convey his views on various lives, events, miracles, places, rumours, the improbable and the mundane.

v  A great Interplay of past, present and future.
            At times the narrative present cross-section of dates, facts and figures related to public and private issues. At times, it slips into past, present or future in a deliberate unchronological manner. This mode of narration is quite befitting to the description of varied life and manners of the people of Pakistan. Here Omar identifies Pakistan’s present and future along with his own. The interplay of the personal and the national history is most significant feature of ‘Shame.’ The interaction of individual and historical forces gives unite to then novel .Like Saleem Sinai, the hero of Midnights’ Children’, here Omar say, “Who, What am I ? My answer; I am the sum total of everything that went before me, of all I have done of everything done to me. I am everyone. Everything. I am anything that happens after I have gone which would not have happened if I had not come.” Thus Rushdie lays stress on the historical sense. He does not under-estimate the value of the past. His approach remind us of Burnt Nortion’s life, “Time present and time past, Art both perhaps present in time future, And time future contained in time past.”
v  A memory novel:-
            Logically speaking, it is difficult to understand the unfolding scheme of events in “Shame”. Events are narrated in a zigzag manner. The narrator shifts from one matter to another in a most illogical manner. We can consider this novel as ‘a memory novel’. Memory truth is a special kind of truth. It selects estimates. Alters, exaggerates, minimizes, glorifies, and vivifies also, but in the end it creates its own reality. Here we find synthesis between the recent Anglo-American genre of non-fiction Novel’ and the older one of political allegory. 

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