The plot of Amitav Ghosh’s The Calcutta Chromosome is so complex that there is little consensus among scholars on what actually happens in the novel. Following in the footsteps of Rabindranath Tagore, Satyajit Ray, Renu, and J. P. S. Uberoi, Ghosh dramatizes the encounter between Western science, with its accompanying epistemology, and Indian tradition. The novel challenges the relentless West-driven search for knowledge, epitomized by the supercomputer named Ava, and suggests that only different epistemological premises, based on silence, can counteract Western rationalism. The novel’s literary technique mirrors this preoccupation in that it tells a story from two different viewpoints, one of which remains silent throughout. Narrating the viewpoint of a silent agent raises a number of problems as to the reliability of the narrator, who properly speaking is only a “guesser.” The whole narrative revolves around a foundational mystery that remains unknown to all characters. In order to do so, the implied author must write about something of which he too remains ignorant. This paradoxical condition calls for a revision of the traditional writing agents as described by Wayne C. Booth, so that it is necessary to include the figure of the archiauthor behind the traditional implied author. This may explain a reticent narrative that relies heavily on the reader’s intelligence. Furthermore, my narratological reading highlights two themes formerly neglected by scholars, namely that subalterns’ cosmopolitanism in the future is rooted in our colonial past and that the interpersonal transference envisaged by the novel merges different people in one body, thus challenging the Western obsession with individualism.
|Titolo:||Emplotting the postcolonial: epistemology and narratology in Amitav Ghosh’s The Calcutta chromosome|
VESCOVI, ALESSANDRO (Primo)
|Parole Chiave:||the Calcutta Chromosome; Amitav Ghosh; narratology; epistemology; Indian literature in English|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore L-LIN/10 - Letteratura Inglese|
|Data di pubblicazione:||gen-2017|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1353/ari.2017.0001|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01 - Articolo su periodico|