The Dichotomy Between ' Commonwealth Literature ' And ' English Literature

852 WordsSep 26, 20154 Pages
Once, in a discourse on the dichotomy between ‘Commonwealth literature’ and ‘English literature,’ the British writer of the Indian diaspora, Salman Rushdie, sardonically observed that the division kept the two apart “like squabbling children, or sexually incompatible pandas, or, perhaps, like unstable, fissile materials whose union might cause explosions” (Rushdie, 1). Such divisions, based on preconceived notions with no significant empirical merit, are not contemporarily uncommon, and have, reflecting its popularity, been coined ‘stereotypes.’ Though scientists would be appalled, observations of a few repetitive actions or themes, in no way representing the whole percentage of such instances, or even a majority, preclude the next perceived truth. Stereotypes have been so pervasive, so insidious, as to define whole cultures (and to allude to that great skeptic, to define is also to limit). One such culture facing repercussions due to stereotypes is that of the Muslims. The notion that democracy cannot function within an Islamic country has been so often repeated and cited, and too little discredited, that even aboriginal Muslim populations express cynicism when asked about democratic polity. This skepticism has been fostered by religious fanatics and fundamentalist, and encouraged though Western redundancies. However, similar to Rushdie voicing dissent at the subjugation by the aforementioned labels, there exist firebrands contradicting the stereotypes which have recently
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