Generic frameworks and active readership in The Reluctant Fundamentalist

Ilott, Sarah (2014) Generic frameworks and active readership in The Reluctant Fundamentalist. Journal of Postcolonial Writing, 50 (5). pp. 571-583. ISSN 1744-9863

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Abstract

This article considers the role of the reader-as-judge in Mohsin Hamid’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist. It builds upon and extends the idea of the cathartic function of authorship as a response to trauma by alternatively considering the activation and empowerment of the reader that is enabled by the dramatic monologue style of Hamid’s novella. Indications that the reader is called upon to make active decisions can be found in the second-person address that is directed beyond the pages. The layering of different genres also means that readers have to choose what they believe to be the most suitable generic framework for understanding the novella. Marking a new intervention into the study of this novella, the article argues that The Reluctant Fundamentalist is an example of a contemporary dramatic monologue that encourages a more active way of reading by calling for readers’ discernment and judgement, while resisting comfortable closure. The article considers how and why the novella functions as a dramatic monologue, before moving on to those matters that the reader is being called upon to judge, and the wider implications of this readerly positioning in relation to the politics of mourning.

Item Type: Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Postcolonial Writing
Additional Information: This is published under my soon-to-be-married name, Sarah Ilott.
Uncontrolled Keywords: /dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/1200/1208
Subjects:
Departments: Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences > History
Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences > English & Creative Writing
ID Code: 67655
Deposited By: ep_importer_pure
Deposited On: 22 Nov 2013 09:57
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 30 Sep 2019 17:47
URI: https://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/67655

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