Amitav Ghosh's <i>The Shadow Lines</i>: Re-Reading its Craft and Concerns
In this essay I examine Amitav Ghoshâ€™s craft and concerns in one of his finestÂ novels, The Shadow Lines (1988). I further explore Ghoshâ€™s organisation of theÂ diegetic elements, such as the novelâ€™s world and situation, events and characters, asÂ well as the mode of telling and recounting the story, and argue how it is designed inÂ conjunction with his central thematic preoccupation. As memory provides theÂ narrative trigger in this novel, I analyse Ghoshâ€™s mnemonic enterprise as part of hisÂ narrative management. By using different narrative terms derived from RussianÂ Formalism and Structuralist mediations, the novelâ€™s construction is taken apart toÂ demonstrate Ghoshâ€™s innovative art. Besides dealing with the novelâ€™s narratologicalÂ technique, this essay looks at Ghoshâ€™s interrogation of cartographic determinationsÂ against the background of Bengalâ€™s vivisection into East Pakistan (nowÂ Bangladesh) and West Bengal and evaluates his espousal of secular tolerance andÂ alternative cartography in a multi-cultural scenario.
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