- Subject index
Reading Literature Today is a path-breaking intervention in current debates on reading and literature. This is a book of criticism that attempts to rescue literature from both the materialism of the market and the convoluted dryness of academia.
The two complementary essaysone on literature and the other on readingfocus largely on texts in English and French, but also refer to other literatures. The authors propose a way of reading literature that not only synthesizes some earlier tendencies and puts them in context, but also propounds a revolutionary understanding of the nature of literature and reading.
The writers taken up for discussion include William Shakespeare, Joseph Conrad, Rudyard Kipling, Marcel Proust, Charles Baudelaire, Franz Kafka, William Burroughs, Dylan Thomas, Attia Hosain, Albert Wendt, Zadie Smith, Philip Hensher, Mohsin ...
Chapter 1: The Death of the Reader of Gaps and Silences
The Death of the Reader of Gaps and Silences
Zadie Smith's White Teeth is a novel that a young writer can only admire, a double-decker of a narrative powered by real talent. It is also a novel that appears to make careful use of ‘history’. And yet, if one reads it from outside the celebratory space of multicultural Britain, one notices intriguing gaps and silences. Take, for instance, the case of the main protagonist, Samad Miah Iqbal, who claims to be and is portrayed by the text as the great-grandson of Mangal Pande, the Indian sepoy who fired the first shot of the 1857 revolt. Samad is a firebrand—if not fundamentalist—Muslim much of the time and the ...