Vikram Chandra's constant journey : swallowing the World

Dora Sales Salvador


The purpose of this paper is to account for the challenging hybridity and in-betweenness that derives from the presence of non-Western traces in contemporary fiction written in a global language. Among the huge and ever-growing group of the so-called "new literatures in English", the focus will be placed on Vikram Chandra's novel Red Earth and Pouring Rain (1995). This Indian author, who lives between Bombay and Washington, is a real master when it comes to fictionalized oral storytelling, echoing the traditional Indian epics -the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. It is no wonder, then, that Chandra would define himself as a storyteller. The generic shaping of a text tends to voice the ontological conception of literature that an author has, as it is the case with Chandra's transcultural narrative. His work, delineated on the borders between oral rite and written fiction, displays an intersystemic dialogue in which literature becomes a space of intercultural communication, an endless journey.

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