Making a Mockery of Mimicry: Salman Rushdie's Shame

David W Hart


In Shame, Rushdie fictionalizes numerous violent historical circumstances, such as the murder of a daughter by her Pakistani emigre father in London, and the political and personal strife of Pakistani leaders and their families, and places them into a fairytale narrative structure. I argue that Rushdie utilizes an arsenal of storytelling techniques to make violence palatable so that his readers may be more willing to critique the East's and the West's cultures of shame. His narrative style can be viewed as a tongue-in-cheek use and abuse of numerous literary narrative conventions and theoretical perspectives ranging from fairytale motifs to notions of colonial mimicry.


Rushdie; violence; parody; mimicry; intertextuality

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