Terror, globalization and the individual in Salman Rushdie's Shalimar the Clown

Stadtler, Florian (2009). Terror, globalization and the individual in Salman Rushdie's Shalimar the Clown. Journal of Postcolonial Writing, 45(2) pp. 191–199.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/17449850902820035

Abstract

This article reads Rushdie’s 2005 novel Shalimar the Clown as an example of how the contemporary postcolonial novel debates terrorism, the neo-imperialist strategies of post-war US foreign policy and the Indian state’s military presence in Kashmir. Shalimar the Clown extends his arguments about cultural and economic globalization, resurgent separatist and terrorist movements and its impact on individuals from The Ground Beneath her Feet (1999) and Fury (2001). Like his previous novels, Shalimar the Clown cuts across different time periods and territories, challenging the legacies of empire, nationhood and emergent new empires. Yet the novel’s focus on Kashmir and international terrorism reframes Rushdie’s earlier arguments. Shalimar the Clown engages with the repressions and exclusions that the postcolonial state imposes on its periphery, exemplified in the continuing struggle between India and Pakistan over Kashmir. By discussing “terror” and “terrorism” and how Rushdie subverts these terms in relation to identity, violence and the effects on the individual, this article argues that Shalimar the Clown reroutes postcolonial paradigms by examining transnational terror networks, and their regional and international impact on politics, cultures and identities. periphery, exemplified in the continuing struggle between India and Pakistan over Kashmir. By discussing “terror” and “terrorism” and how Rushdie subverts these terms in relation to identity, violence and the effects on the individual, this article argues that Shalimar the Clown reroutes postcolonial paradigms by examining transnational terror networks, and their regional and international impact on politics, cultures and identities.

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