The Elements Of Autobiography In Saleem's Narcissic Historiography

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Saleem’s parodying and rewriting through his autobiography in the novel can be read as a challenge to the Eurocentric historiography as a discourse. In MCH the narrator/author attempts to subvert Western scientific historiography and the hegemony that this historiography represents by offering a non-linear and personal his/story. What Rushdie tries to do is to create alternatives not only to events but also to the discourse of history that narrates these events.In MCH the subversion of the so-called objective historical discourse is achieved through the intermingling of metafictional strategies and historical reality. As MCH is about its central figure’s [Saleem’s] struggle to write his autobiography, in many ways being personal as opposed to the objectivity of history writing, the novel is by its…show more content…
He is the narrator in the novel but at the same time a writer of his autobiography, and throughout his narration he continually reminds the reader of the fictional nature of the story he is telling by means of his self-reflexive remarks. And the inclusion of historical novels and personages in the novel’s metafictional context implies their fictionality and problematizes them as well. Furthermore, the role of the reader in a metafictional context, as Hutcheon argues, is no longer of a passive receiver, but that of an active participant in the writing process: “The reader’s task becomes increasingly difficult and demanding, as he sorts out the various narrative threads. The universe he thus creates, he must then acknowledge as fictional and of his own making”(1980:49)
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