Resisting the Event: Aesthetics of the Non-Event in the Contemporary South Asian Novel

Megha Anwer


This essay interrogates the ways in which contemporary fiction from the subcontinent responds to the evental-turn in Western philosophy, historiography and popular media discourse. Today, this seemingly unanimous and all pervasive fixation with colossal moments – whether they are revolutionary, politically progressive ones or apocalyptic, terroristic ones – grips our collective global imaginary like never before. The post-9/11 context of the war on terror has compelled us all to accept, willy-nilly, the cloying power of event-centric narratives. In this context I study Vikram Chandra's Sacred Games, Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things and Mohsin Hamid’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist to suggest that that contemporary literary experimentations emerging out of South Asia proactively resist the event’s magnetic power to create an inescapable force field that keeps everything constantly aligned in relation to itself.


Event; 9/11; war on terror; subaltern studies; mourning

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The Johns Hopkins University Press

ISSN: 1920-1222

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