Violenţa ca armă politică

Bolovanul istoriei se rostogolește în opera lui Salman Rushdie1

[„Al.I. Cuza” University of Iași]

I grew in all directions, willy-nilly. My father was a big man but by the age of ten my shoulders had grown wider than his coats. I was a skyscraper freed of all legal restraints, a one-man population explosion, a megalopolis, a shirt-ripping, button-popping Hulk.
Salman Rushdie, The Moor’s Last Sigh

This paper looks into the artful way in which Salman Rushdie makes the human body the site of the nation’s conflicts in The Moor’s Last Sigh. I argue that the Moor’s story is a well-wrought „suture” of the wounds of history. The novel’s title is a metaphor of the dialogic relation between the body and the world concentrated into the sigh. The Moor’s Last Sigh is a palimpsested saga of pluralism, multiplicity and hybridity. In this novel, Rushdie purports to address the issue of violence at various levels, and to suggest that communal violence stirs the potential resources of aggression which are dormant in any individual. Salman Rushdie’s tenth book lends itself to endless interpretations through its recurrent fantastic images and the inspiring Alhambra Palace of Spain.

Keywords: hybridity; Bombayness; palimpsest; intertextuality; spectrality; erasure

In the third page of The Moor’s Last Sigh the character-narrator Moraes Zogoiby, the prematurely aged „high-born cross-breed” „called Moor”, sitting in a dark wood, „an overgrown graveyard, and a little down the track from the Ultimo Suspiro gas station” confesses that he is „expelled from his story, tumbled towards history.”2 How is one to read this bitterly ironic confession? The title itself is a reference to the story of Boabdil, the last sultan of Granada whose surrender marked the end of Moorish rule in Spain, and who became the subject of romantic legends. Rushdie’s Moor is supposedly a descendant of Boabdil. However, he is a fictional blueprint whose character lines illuminate history; by an  ironical analogy, Boabdil’s „ultimo suspiro” as he last looked upon Granada from the historical landmark Puerto del Suspiro del Moro is now the name of a gas station, also a landmark in the hybrid fictional topography of the novel, which is an intersection of past and present, East and West, fiction and history.

Rushdie translates cinematic devices into writing when he has the Moor tell his story. The strategy employed in memory films which Rushdie uses in this novel is that of starting with the end of the story to achieve foreshadowing effects and to suggest circularity. The gloomy atmosphere, the bitter tone and the strong visual impact of this first scene have an almost hypnotic effect, hooking the readers on the very first page of the Moor’s memory unfolding spectacularly but sadly. The narrator’s voice-over is heard throughout to emphasize the stance of the Moor as the epitome of the hybrid condition of the individual, whose megalopolis-size fast aging body mirrors the hybridity of the nation. Like in a film, the voice-over addresses the readers / viewers while they’re watching the close-up of a figure sitting in the dark wood near a graveyard. The blend of realism and fantasy, Eastern and Western traditions and techniques, comedy and tragedy makes the novel read like a Bollywood production.

Being structurally and thematically regressive, the filmic narrative abounds in flashbacks. Thus, its syntax is circular and regressive, relying mainly on flashback and palimpsest. Foregrounding as it does Aurora’s spectacles, the novel translates the visual effects of film-framing into writing. In filmmaking, the larger the frame size is in relation to the size of the projection screen, the sharper the image will appear. Rushdie relies on this principle when he focuses his reader’s eyes upon the rhetorical device of ekphrasis. Ekphrasis has an enhancing effect in the novel: Aurora’s paintings are a succession of frames which unfold not only the Moor’s story but also a very complex blood-thirsty history. Her paintings and his story look at each other in the mirror, and the image of their convergence is history – a succession of turbulent moments marked by violence. As the Moor’s story projected by Aurora’s paintings unfolds regressively, so does history. As their arts interlace, so do story and history intertwine.

Rushdie declared in an interview that he wanted to be the kind of artist Aurora is in the novel. He deems Aurora to be an encyclopaedic painter, trying „to put the whole world on her canvas.”3 Being an expression of the writer’s desire to be encyclopaedic, the novel traces Rushdie’s own intellectual voyage.

Not only does the novel employ cinematic devices and techniques, but it also echoes and references other films. Thus, „Mother India”  and its counterpart „Mr. India” are contrasted and balanced with Aurora’s prophetic spectacles. The films to which the novel refers us are part of India, like the Moor’s narrative and Aurora’s paintings. All these art reflections of India trespass the border of space and time and celebrate palimpsestic hybridity, a place of the mind called Palempstine. Despite the ring of bitterness and sadness that the story obviously has, The Moor’s Last Sigh is also, according to Rushdie himself, a sex comedy fosusing on a sexy sensual lady, Aurora Zogoiby. The Moor’s tone is often tinged with humour, and numerous scenes in the novel have a comic effect. Spinning this yarn of interlacing story and history, intertextual density, intersecting arts, liminal zones and states of mind, hybrid genres and mixed effects, Rushdie created a text which mirrors and celebrates unrootedness and hybridity, a filmic multifacted intertextual narrative masala style.

As a parable of the speedy progress of history in the 20th century, and of post-independence India in particular, the Moor’s life gallops towards the end, and from this end he unreels the story, or rather a bunch of stories, a family saga intersecting a nation’s history, which feeds on a Moorish-Portuguese-Jewish past. Giambattista Vico’s pattern of „corso e ricorso” seems to mark the Moor’s world. For Vico, history unfolds in a series of cycles, and each cycle comprises three eras. Human nature also has its own evolution, and human ends and interests are both social and individual products. Each era starts with imagination and superstition, then moves towards reason and logic, and descends again into imagination. Rushdie’s magic realism is an intersection of these paradigms to the point that it becomes a space haunted by ghostly doubles. Aurora, the Moor’s artist mother is „her dead mother’s phantom, doing her deeds, speaking in her departed voice.” Belle’s „night-walking daughter was keeping the mother alive, giving up her own body for the departed to inhabit, clinging to death, refusing it, insisting on the constancy, beyond the grave, of love – that she had become her mother’s new dawn, flesh for her spirit, two belles in one.” Since Belle used to be keen on elephant tokens, Aurora „would name her own home Elephanta; so matters elephantine, as well as spectral, continued to play a part in our saga, after all.”4  The Moor’s saga moves backwards and forwards in time, weaving the threads of several family stories of „comings-together, tearings-apart, rises, falls, tiltoings up and down.5 Spectrality is a mark of the postcolonial condition, which is by analogy a palimpsest where various layers of writing / history compete and where erasures eventually surface.

The body of history thus seems to lose solidity and slip into the unsolidity of fiction. In his essay „Is Nothing Sacred?”, Rushdie declares that his „most beloved books have been fictions” and as a result of his loss of a sense of God he „was drawn towards the great creative possibilities offered by surrealism, modernism and their successors, those philosophies and aesthetics born of the realization that, as Karl Marx said, `all that is solid melts into air.`”6

The Moor’s own body epitomizes India’s history. Like Saleem Sinai in Midnight’s Children, the Moor is misshapen. Apart from being oversized because, like India, he grows too fast, he was born prematurely, and he has a deformed right hand. When still a child, he has the body of a man but the soul of a boy; at 36, he is already grey, and that is, as he says, „a family characteristic” as his „mother Aurora was snow-white at twenty.”7 As if mirroring the wealth of condiments on the sub-continent (playfully called a „sub-condiment”), the Moor’s bloodline is a hybrid. His father, Abraham Zogoiby is a south-Indian Jew, possibly a descendant of Boabdil. His mother, Aurora Zogoiby, né da Gama, was born into a Christian spice-trading family claimimg illegitimate descent from Vasco da Gama, the Portuguese navigator who brought European trade and colonialism to India. Such conflicting lines of ancestry may be too much for Moraes’ body.

The Moor feels his body a prison. In his youth, he dreams of peeling off his skin and „going forth naked into the world, like an anatomy illustration from Encyclopaedia Britannica, all ganglions, ligaments, nervous pathways and veins, set free from the otherwise inescapable jails of colour, race and clan.” After dedicating a whole passage to this dream of escaping the body jail, floating „free of flesh, skin and bones”, the Moor moves to the next passage, which relates the peeling off of his skin to the peeling off of history, which is another jail, „the prison of the past.”8 Throughout the novel, when the Moor’s body bleeds, the body of history bleeds. Later on in the story, this dream of becoming „simply an intelligence or a feeling set loose in the world”,9 which sounds like a triumph of the mind and soul over the body, turns into a negative vision in which the peeling skin takes with it all the elements of the Moor’s personality until he becomes „nobody, nothing”, a depersonalised entity with no identity. This ambivalent and rather painful peeling off of the body finds its visual mirror in the palimpsest. As the skin peels off, the layers of the manuscript peel off and reveal hidden writing. From literature, the term palimpsest was borrowed in astronomy. Both in literature and planetary astronomy, the palimpsest’s function is to preserve a record of the past in the form of something that is hidden from view. In The Moor’s Last Sigh the peeling off skin of body and history is echoed by the aesthetics of the palimpsest, which also implies multiplicity and impurity.

Following in the footsteps of Jyotsna Singh and Paul Cantor, John Clement Ball approaches The Moor’s Last Sigh as both a celebration of multiplicity, pluralism, hybridity, impurity and a locus where opposing forces pull the novel in opposite directions. The Da Gama-Zogoiby family, whose family tree prefaces the text of the novel, mirrors India’s multiplicity, impurity and ability to contain diverse and contradictory realities, which Rushdie finds so compelling both in reality and in fiction. As Ball argues, „his beloved Bombay, the nation’s most cosmopolitan city, exemplifies these qualities; in Midnight’s Children he coins the term „Bombayness” to encapsulate a whole value system.”10

In Ordeal by Labyrinth, Romanian historian of religions Mircea Eliade states that „any native land is a sacred geography.” Eliade then adds that „for those who left it”, which is also Rushdie’s case, „one’s childhood and adolescence place always becomes a mythical one.”11 If for Eliade „Bucharest is the centre of an inexhaustible mythology”, for Rushdie that omphalos, axis mundi, centre of the world is Bombay. Being central, Bombay is a point of connection between the sky and the earth where the four compass directions meet. Following „Malabar Masala”, which is the second section of the book, whose savory mix is a metaphor of the multiplicity of India, the „Bombay Central” section is structurally and metaphorically the centre of the palimpsestic variegated topography of the Moor’s world.  According to Mircea Eliade, „every Microcosm, every inhabited region, has a Centre; that is to say, a place that is sacred above all.”12 As Rushdie argues in his essay, „nothing is sacred in and of itself.” However, „ideas, texts, even people can be made sacred”, though „the act of making sacred is in truth an event in history.”13 The centrality of Bombay is reinforced through repetition, and the world whose omphalos Bombay is looks essentially inclusive. Bombay is given a collective body and a polyphonic orchestration in a Bakhtinian sense: „Bombay was central, had been so from the moment of its creation: the bastard child of a Portuguese-English wedding, and yet the most Indian of Indian cities. In Bombay all Indias met and merged. In Bombay, too, all-India met what-was-not-India, what came across the black water to flow into our veins. Everything north of Bombay was North India, everything south of it was the South. To the east lay India’s East and to the west, the world’s West. Bombay was central; all rivers flowed into its human sea. It was an ocean of stories; we were all its narrators, and everybody talked at once.”14 Thus, Bombay’s hybridity and the Moor’s hybridity mirror each other, and the whole story of The Moor’s Last Sigh is a polyphonic fabric, the novel’s voices being translated into as many languages. In Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children and The Moor’s Last Sigh Bombay is not sacred but, being central, it has the potential of becoming sacred. Its centrality is not only spatial and structural in The Moor’s Last Sigh, but it is also metaphorical, and, in Eliade’s terms, mythical. Acording to Eliade, a central place like Bombay in Rushdie’s book is the realm of the established order, which, like a better future, is essentially an ideal.

Ball also shows that Rushdie values the principle of inclusivity, using it to judge issues in the realm of politics. By virtue of this valorization of impurity, hybridity, multiplicity and inclusivity, Rushdie rejects and opposes all forms of „coercion, tyranny, hierarchic exclusion” and any „simplifying search for purity”15 both in politics and in fiction. In The Moor’s Last Sigh, the Da Gama-Zogoiby family is fantastically hybrid, while the Moor’s body is literally tugged between so many contradictions.16

In his book of essays and criticism Imaginary Homelands Rushdie insists on the idea that writing is a political act, reinforcing the inextricable ties between art, society, history and politics. In his title essay „Imaginary Homelands” Rushdie argues that writing is a political act which denies „the official, politicians’ version of truth.”17 In „Outside the Whale” he contends that „works of art, even works of entertainment, do not come into being in a social and political vacuum; and that the way they operate in a society cannot be separated from politics, from history. For every text, a context.”18 In the same essay Rushdie outspokenly pleads for the writers’ political engagement: „Outside the whale is the unceasing storm, the continual quarrel, the dialectic of history. Outside the whale there is a genuine need for political fiction, for books that draw new and better maps of reality, and make new languages with which we can understand the world. Outside the whale we see that we are all irradiated by history, we are radioactive with history and politics; we see that it can be as false to create a politics-free fictional universe as to create one in which nobody needs to work or eat or hate or love or sleep. Outside the whale it becomes necessary, and even exhilarating, to grapple with the special problems created by the incorporation of political material, because politics is by turns farce and tragedy, and sometimes (e.g., Zia’s Pakistan) both at once.”19 The reason why politics and fiction are so inextricably linked especially in our contemporary age is, as Rushdie reinforces in his essay „In God We Trust”, that we live in a Baudrillardian hyperreality in which „television brings visions of the world into every home” and „it seems somehow false to try and shut out the noise of gunfire, screams, weeping, to stop our ears against the inexorable ticking of the doomsday clock.”20

In Midnight’s Children Saleem feels that history (with all its political freight, of course) leaks into him, and „as history inscribes his body, it destroys his body.”21 Written in the style of Midnight’s Children and in the wake of Rushdie’s fatwa political exile and the upsurge of communal violence in India, The Moor’s Last Sigh carries further Rushdie’s project of re-imagining relationships between the individual and the nation in a permanently changing political context shaped by India’s many cultures and clashing religions. The novel is also Rushdie’s response and reaction to successive attempts on the part of various forces to politicize the huge scandal stirred by The Satanic Verses

Published in 1995, The Moor’s Last Sigh is Rushdie’s response to a dramatic event which occurred on 6 December 1992, when the seventeenth-century Babri Masjid mosque in Ayodha was destroyed by Hindu militants, stirring a long–standing religious dispute. Over 1,000 ( according to alternative sources more than 2,000)  people were killed in the Hindu-Muslim riots that followed the destruction of the mosque. It may be argued, as it has already been, that „this exclusionary context informs the heightened sense of dislocation in the novel.”22 At times the Moor gets annoyed by conflicts and exclusionary notions of „Majority and Major-Minority” and exclaims: „To hell with high affairs of state! I have a love story to tell.”23

Moraes is „a modern Lucifer” and his story is one of „fall from grace.”24 Being the narrator of the story, the Moor is the reader’s guide through false Edens, fantastical murals, sinister palimpsests, which are metaphors of India’s intersecting and conflicting past and present, cultures and religions. Moraes would like to remain in a mythical age, which is cyclic, and to escape the linear succession of events, but he finds himself thrown into history, „a nightmare from which he is trying to awake”, to paraphrase Stephen Dedalus in Joyce’s Ulysses. Therefore, he has to face „the terror of history”, in Eliade’s terms, and at the end of the novel, literally bleeding, he wishes he could sleep and wake up to a better future, like Rip Van Winkle.

Much as the Moor would like to foreground his love story for the sake of love, that story is frequently undercut by the „corrosive acid of the spirit, that adversarial intensity” pouring „into the nation’s bloodstream.” One such moment of „adversarial intensity” was the destruction of the Babri Masjid when „the boulder of history” began „to roll” and „even the great city’s powers of dilution could not weaken it enough.”25 The Babri Masjid episode is an epitome of the violence and „blood-lust” which the Moor feels „was in my history, and it was in my bones.”26 Thus, like in the case of Saleem Sinai who feels that history leaks into him, the Moor is „fully cognisant” of the essential truths that he himself (i.e. his own body) is an embodiment of history and body politic. When he recounts the destruction of the mosque at Ayodhya, the Moor has a sense of the Greek distinction between Kairos and Chronos. With its quantitative, linear and cumulative connotations, Chronos may be associated with the primitive aspect of story. The Babri Masjid episode is a time when „the forces of history do their history-obliterating work”, „a time for consequences, not backward glances: for what-happened-next, not what might or might not have gone before.” This is a moment when the visionary moments of religious tolerance and plurality characteristic of the Kairos dimension of time are obliterated by Chronos. The Moor recounts: „It had actually been a Muslim worshipper at the old Babri mosque who had first claimed to see a vision of Lord Ram there, and so started the ball rolling; what could be a finer image of religious tolerance and plurality than that?” The Moor continues to meditate that „After the vision, Muslims and Hindus had, for a time, shared a contested site without fuss...but to the devil with such old news! Who cared about those unhealthy, split hairs? The building had fallen.”27 Such „history-obliterating work” unleashes the „corrosive acid” of violence when the Muslims return the Hindus’ acts of aggression by smashing up Hindu temples and killing Hindus across India and Pakistan. Like a boomerang, violence inflicts violence on those committing violent acts, and the Moor confesses that he is no exception.

At the end of the novel the Moor is „deep in blood.”28 Through accretive repetition, blood covers not just the Moor’s shaking hands and clothes, but it also smudges the words as he sets them down. The reader feels that the story itself, one of feud, violence and murder bleeds to the very end. The „corrosive acid” of past and present violence kills everybody and damages everything, there is „blood and more blood”29 and from this sea of blood the Moor goes back to his table and writes the story’s end. The story’s end is also the Moor’s end, literally his last sigh as he sits „in the last light” with thorns, branches and stones tearing at his skin and wounding him. The reference of this description to the excruciating pain and suffering of Jesus Christ cannot be missed. If Jesus suffered for the whole mankind, the Moor bleeds thinking of the Moorish past. Not minding the wounds, he sweeps the horizon and has the vision of „the glory of the Moors, their trimphant masterpiece and their last redoubt.” Both story and history have come full circle to their nadir of glory, the communal and the individual fortune come to an intertwined end, and the day itself ends. This is also the last leg of the reader’s reading as journey, etymologically one day’s travel which coincides with the sun’s diurnal cycle. The Moor bleeds and weeps watching this vision of the past „vanish in the twilight.” In the Moor’s wounded body and mind, time and space merge and become a compact zone of fiction and history as he is falling into sleep like Van Winkle and hoping „to awaken, renewed and joyful, into a better time.”30 In Vico’s terms, one cycle has come to an end and a new one looms large in the horizon.

Intertextuality itself looks palimpsestic here, the underlayer of the „Rip Van Winkle” text surfacing Rushdie’s text about the Moor. Both Van Winkle and the Moor fit the archetypal figure of the quest hero. The quest hero is in search for his essential self, for his identity which can be related to the whole community in times which grow worse and worse. With gun in hand, Rip strolls away to the woods. Tired with the journey, Rip throws himself on a green knoll, where he falls asleep and sleeps away for twenty years. The Moor wishes he could fall asleep and wake up into a better time, like a twentieth century hybrid Rip. That time is better in Rip’s case to the extent to which that gap of history becomes the subject matter of Rip’s story, which slips into a legend that holds the Dutch community together. The Moor slips into death contemplating a future which, from the perspective offered by his present stained with blood, looks rather uncertain.

There are several layers of history in The Moor’s Last Sigh. In order to suggest layered history and erasure in this novel, Rushdie employs the trope of the palimpsest. Originally, palimpsest was a term for a parchment on which inscriptions had been made after the erasure of earlier ones. The Babri Masjid episode is, by metaphorical transfer, such an erasure. The Moor glosses bitterly: „So we were invaders now, were we? After two thousand years, we still did not belong, and indeed, were soon to be ‘erased’ – which ‘cancellation’ need not be followed by any expression of regret, or grief.”31 Nevertheless, as moments of the past haunt the present, earlier traces of writing are never lost in a palimpsest – their tricky spectral persistence as traces brings them to the surface when old layers are restored by memory.

Minoli Salgado argues that by using the palimpsest as an analog for the postcolonial condition Rushdie also challenges and undermines the perception of time as linear, supplanting it with „a paradigm for temporal compression and synchronicity that subverts the very possibility of ordering history into a logic of cause and consequence.” Apart from subverting linear chronology and logic, the palimpsest is „a discursive paradigm” which is „central to the ethical  [and also aesthetic] revaluation of hybridity.”32 Thus, the „Bombay mix” that the Moor is gets his / its aesthetic representation in Aurora’s palimpsestic series of the Moor’s paintings.

Aurora’s series of the so-called „Moor paintings” ironically falling into an ‘early’ period, followed by a  ‘great’ or ‘high’ and then a late period of the so-called ‘dark Moors’ is a visual and visionary mirror of Rushdie’s own writing. This   fantasy world of ‘Palempstine’ is, as the novel itself, a metaphor of cultural fusion and hybridity. As Salgado shows, „in taking the logic of palimpsestic discourse to its logical conclusion, Rushdie reveals the urgent need to connect the cultural pluralism of secularist discourse to the social and historical context that generated it.”33 In the palimpsest, the spectre of the past haunts the present, the eerily corporeal-ghostly presence of earlier traces of writing „inhabit” the body of the most recent layer of writing on the parchment. Like in the palimpsest, the ghost of earlier layers of writing inhabit the bodily presence of recent layers of writing in a way which is similar to the way in which Belle, Aurora’s deceased mother, inhabits her daughter’s body, „two belles in one.”

Alternatively, Aurora’s fantastic visionary world of past and present populated by monsters, elephant-deities and ghosts is called ‘Mooristan.’ Whatever it is called, this world is a „place where worlds collide, flow in and out of one another, and washofy away.” This „body” of work is the Moor’s own body, which is also – in its megalopolis size - Bombay. Thus the Moor’s body becomes a hyperbolic ekphrasis: „And above it all, in the palace, you.”34 Weaving her vision around the Moor „in his hybrid fortress”, Aurora unfolds his autobiography, which is at the same time „an attempt to create a romantic myth  of the plural, hybrid nation; she was using Arab Spain to re-imagine India, and this land-sea-scape in which the land could be fluid and the sea stone-dry was her metaphor – idealised? sentimental? probably – of the present, and the future, that she hoped would evolve.”35 In Homi Bhabha’s sense, The Moor’s Last Sigh is a metaphor of dissemination, not just one moment, but recurring moments of „the scattering of the people that in other times and other places, in the nations of others, becomes a time of gathering”, and also of „other worlds lived retroactively.”36

When it evokes and describes Aurora’s paintings, the novel becomes an intersection of mirrors, a myse-en-abyme, an infinite regress in time and space, an endless succession of internal duplications. Aurora’s art mirrors the Moor’s story, and the Moor’s story reflects her art, which is a reflection of history. The Moor himself is a reflection, the sum of Aurora’s images on the canvas, taking bodily shape in the story as a character, while he also tells the story. The sharpness of these intersecting edges cut deep into the Moor’s body, wounding it, while in their turn those injuries are reflections of communal wounds: „As I set down my memories of my part in those paintings, I am naturally conscious that those who submit themselves as the models upon whom a work of art is made can offer, at best, a subjective, often wounded, sometimes spiteful, wrong-side-of-the-canvas version of the finished work. What then can the humble clay usefully say about the hands that moulded it? Perhaps simply this: that I was there. And that during the years of sitting I made a kind of portrait of her, too. She was looking at me, and I was looking right back.” Sitting for her in her studio as artist and model, the Moor is no longer „the victim of an incurable premature-aging disorder, but a magic child, a time traveler”,37 an archetypal quest hero with whom readers can identify in their quest for their own deepest essential selves. As a mother, also standing for Mother India, Aurora may give birth to crippled babies, but as an artist she transfigures her baby’s crippled body into a magic Moor, chanting her dream of secular transcendence through art: „Baby mine, you just startofied out going too fast. Maybe you’ll just take off, and zoom-o right out of this life into another space and time. Maybe – who knows? – a better.”38 Aurora’s vision is echoed by the Moor as he lies dying, a form of sleeping, hoping „to awaken, renewed and joyful, into a better time.”39


BALL, John Clement, „Acid in the Nation’s Bloodstream: Satire, Violence, and the Indian Body Politic in Salman Rushdie’s The Moor’s Last Sigh”, The International Fiction Review, Volume 27, Numbers 1 & 2 (2000),, accessed on 3 August 2011.
BHABHA, Homi, „DissemiNation: Time, narrative and the margins of the modern nation”, in The Location of Culture, (Routledge, 1994).
ELIADE, Mircea, Încercarea labirintului, (Cluj Napoca: Dacia, 1990).
FOUCAULT, Michel, The History of Sexuality: The Will to Knowledge, (Penguin; New edition, 1998).
SALDAGO, Minoli, „The Politics of the Palimpsest in The Moor’s Last Sigh”, in The Cambridge Companion to Salman Rushdie, Edited by Abdulrazak Gurnah, (CUP, 2OO7).
RUSHDIE, Salman, Imaginary Homelands, Essays and Criticism 1981 – 1991, (Penguin Books, 1992).
RUSHDIE, Salman, The Moor’s Last Sigh, (New York: Pantheon Books, 1995).
The New Science of Gianbattista Vico, Translated by Thomas Goddard Bergin and Max Harold Fisch, (Cornell University Press; 3rd Unabridged Edition, 1984).

Interviews with Salman Rushdie



1 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: This work was supported by the strategic grant POSDRU/ 89/1.5/S/62259, Project „Applied social, human and political sciences” co-financed by the European social fund within the Sectorial Operational Program Human Resources Development 2007 -2013.
2 Salman Rushdie, The Moor’s Last Sigh, (New York: Pantheon Books, 1995), 4-5.
4 Rushdie, The Moor, 10.
5 Rushdie, The Moor, 12.
6 Salman Rushdie, Imaginary Homelands, Essays and Criticism 1981 – 1991, (Penguin Books, 1992), 415, 417.
7 Rushdie, The Moor, 12.
8 Rushdie, The Moor, 136.
9 Rushdie, The Moor, 136.
10 John Clement Ball, „Acid in the Nation’s Bloodstream: Satire, Violence, and the Indian Body Politic in Salman Rushdie’s The Moor’s Last Sigh” in The International Fiction Review, Volume 27, Numbers 1 & 2 (2000),, accessed on 3 August 2011.
11 Mircea Eliade, Încercarea labirintului, (Cluj Napoca: Editura Dacia, 1990), 34, my translation.
12 Mircea Eliade, ‚Symbolism of the Centre’ in Images and Symbols,(Princeton, 1991), 39.
13 Rushdie, Imaginary Homelands, 416.
14 Rushdie, The Moor, 350.
15 John Clement Ball, „Acid in the Nation’s Bloodstream: Satire, Violence, and the Indian Body Politic in Salman Rushdie’s The Moor’s Last Sigh” in The International Fiction Review, Volume 27, Numbers 1 & 2 (2000),, accessed on 3 August 2011.
16 For the association between body and political power, see Michel Foucault’s „biopolitics”, which is the style of government that regulates populations through „biopower” (the application and impact of political power on all aspects of human life) in The Will to Knowledge, Foucault’s first volume of The History of Sexuality.
17 Rushdie, Imaginary Homelands, 14.
18 Rushdie, Imaginary Homelands, 92.
19 Rushdie, Imaginary Homelands, 100.
20 Rushdie, Imaginary Homelands, 376.
21 John Clement Ball, „Acid in the Nation’s Bloodstream: Satire, Violence, and the Indian Body Politic in Salman Rushdie’s The Moor’s Last Sigh” in The International Fiction Review, Volume 27, Numbers 1 & 2 (2000),, accessed on 3 August 2011.
22 Minoli Saldago, „The Politics of the Palimpsest in The Moor’s Last Sigh” in The Cambridge Companion to Salman Rushdie, Edited by Abdulrazak Gurnah, (CUP, 2OO7), 154
23 Rushdie, The Moor, 87.
24 Rushdie, The Moor, 5.
25 Rushdie, The Moor, 351.
26 Rushdie, The Moor, 365.
27 Rushdie, The Moor, 363.
28 Rushdie, The Moor, 430.
29 Rushdie, The Moor, 432.
30 Rushdie, The Moor, 433-434.
31 Rushdie, The Moor, 364.
32 Minoli Saldago, „The Politics of the Palimpsest in The Moor’s Last Sigh” in The Cambridge Companion to Salman Rushdie, Edited by Abdulrazak Gurnah, (CUP, 2OO7), 161.
33 Minoli Saldago, „The Politics of the Palimpsest in The Moor’s Last Sigh” in The Cambridge Companion to Salman Rushdie, Edited by Abdulrazak Gurnah, (CUP, 2OO70), 164.
34 Rushdie, The Moor, 226.
35 Rushdie, The Moor, 227.
36 Homi Bhabha, „DissemiNation: Time, narrative and the margins of the modern nation,” in The Location of Culture, (Routledge, 1994), 139.
37 Rushdie, The Moor, 219.
38 Rushdie, The Moor, 219-220.
39 Rushdie, The Moor, 434.

DANA BĂDULESCU – Lector Doctor la Catedra de Engleză a Facultăţii de Litere, Universitatea „Alexandru Ioan Cuza” din Iaşi. Ultima carte pulicată Impressionistic Modes and Metaphoric Structures in E. M. Forster’s Fiction and Criticism, ed. Junimea, 2001.




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