Andrew Teverson
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Pessoptimistic fictions
Haroun and the Sea of Stories and The Moor’s Last Sigh
in Salman Rushdie
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This chapter discusses the novels The Moor's Last Sigh and Haroun and the Sea of Stories. Rushdie's sixth novel, The Moor's Last Sigh, may be seen as the fictional embodiment of a darker, less forgiving assessment of India's post-Independence political life. Here, much of the ebullience that characterised Midnight's Children has evaporated in the heat of communitarian violence and rampant political corruption, whilst the political resolution which the next generation was supposed to have embodied has been diverted into rapacious stock-market speculation and commodity fetishism. The narrative of Haroun and the Sea of Stories is similar to that of The Moor: the conflict between a pluralist and tolerant society and a monolithic and intolerant political order. In Haroun, the conflict appears in the guise of fantasy.

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