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“Too Much Blood for Good Literature”: Arundhati Roy’s The Ministry of Utmost Happiness and the Question of Realism

Menozzi, F “Too Much Blood for Good Literature”: Arundhati Roy’s The Ministry of Utmost Happiness and the Question of Realism. Journal of Postcolonial Writing. ISSN 1744-9855 (Accepted)

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Abstract

Arundhati Roy’s nonfictional writing has been interpreted as the epitome of an emerging “realist impulse” at the heart of postcolonial literature since 2000, and a move away from the reflexive and metaphorical style of her first novel, The God of Small Things. This article reassesses the opposition between fictional and nonfictional writing by addressing Roy’s second novel, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness (2017). Rather than endorsing a concept of realism understood as transparent, documentary representation of reality, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness proposes a contradictory and digressive poetics whereby fictional and nonfictional elements coexist. Roy’s critical stance on realism encompasses both her commitment to engage with contemporary history and her questioning of literature’s ability to do justice to suffering. Accordingly, Roy’s second novel reframes the literary concept of realism as an “aesthetic of the inconsolable” aiming to address what is left over from nonfictional accounts of politics and history.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 2005 Literary Studies
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
Divisions: Humanities and Social Science
Publisher: Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Date Deposited: 19 Sep 2018 10:50
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2018 11:18
DOI or Identification number: 10.1080/17449855.2018.1507919
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/9266

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