The Indian Diaspora By Vijay Mishra

1120 WordsDec 10, 20165 Pages
“All diasporas are unhappy, but every diaspora is unhappy in its own” (1), Vijay Mishra in his scholarly work The Literature of the Indian Diaspora, the first line of the “Introduction” chapter (echoes Anna Karenina “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”) poignantly marks the predicament of diasporic subject, occupying “a border zone” (1) along with their problematic association in dealing with historic specificity of time and place. He begins theorizing diaspora (in the broadest sense and specifically Indian diaspora) not in terms of binaries between “‘old’” (3) and “‘new’” (3) diaspora, but to show that “diasporic imaginary”(9) is always conditioned by “impossible mourning that transforms mourning into melancholia” (9). There is always all-pervading sense of loss and emptiness within the diasporic space regardless of whether the subject being a girmit, indentured plantation laborers (in Fiji, South Africa, Trinidad) of the colonial past; or the subject of a decolonized world of globalization and hypermobility of specialized trained professionals (in the United States, Canada, Australia). To establish this “impossible mourning” (9) of diasporic imaginary, Mishra takes into account the vast corpus of eminent authors in the field of Indian diasporic study like V. S. Naipaul, Salman Rushdie, Amitav Ghosh, Rohinton Mistry, Hanif Kureishi, Rambai Espinet, Sudesh Mishra, M.G. Vassanji, Bharati Mukherjee, Jhumpa Lahiri and few others. With
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