Saturday, May 18, 2019

Fasting Feasting

INGESTION, DIGESTION AND REVULSION OF nutriment AND CULTURE IN ANITA DESAIS FASTING, FEASTING T. RAVICHANDRAN* ABSTRACT This article attempts a cultural study of nutrient and eating habits in Anita Desais Booker Prize short-listed novel, Fasting, Feasting. It shows how the ingestion offood affects acculturation process both in India and America in a multicultural context. Considering Foucaults view that discourse is involved in the exertion of power, some of the discourses from the novel are scrutinised to name an oppressive power structure.Interestingly enough, the power structure of the novel revolves around a gastronomical sum of money and parents through repressive familial norms exert power. The linguistic strategies, such as repetition and interruption, used to nominate power are analysed by examining appropriate instances from the novel. Further, it shows how the novelist, through a transcultural bundle of representative characters as MamaPapa, Uma, Arun, the Pattons, Mela nie, and Rod, assesses the cross-cultural culinary habits, divergences, and subversions involved.However, it concludes with the observation that taking the novel as a dichotomous study of cardinal closes, the one Indian, on account of its spiritual dimension representing fasting, and the other, American due to its plenty signifying eat, would result in a myopic reading. Whereas, the real charm of the novel lies in the flux shown between fasting and feasting a digesting of the best of both the cultures. he very essence of Indian culture is that we possess a mixed tradition, a melange of elements as disparate as ancient Mughal and contemporary Cocacola American (Salman Rushdie) From food, from food creatures, all creatures come to be. Gorging, disgorging, being come to be. (Taittriya Upanishad) In the Indian cultural scenario, there has been a commodious outcry about the safeguarding and perpetuation of the Indianness. This implies, apart from * Dr. T. Ravichandran is a Assis tant Professor in English, Department of arts & Social Sciences, lIT Kanpur, India. LUCKNOW JOURNAL OF HUMANITIES VOL. 1, NO. 1, JAN-JUN 2004 Downloaded From IP 109. 161. 128. 204 on dated 23-Jan-2012 Members Copy, Not for commercial message Sale www. IndianJournals. com 22 T. Ravichandran Downloaded From IP 109. 161. 128. 204 on dated 23-Jan-2012 Members Copy, Not for Commercial Sale ational identity, a culture characteristic of the country and its inhabitants in terms of originality, purity, sanctity, and exclusivity. However, in a decolonised land that lost much of its originality andexclusivity in cultural conflicts, negotiations and transculturation processes besides gulping down some novelty from the colonisers and other foreign migrants, debating on a monistic culture is inappropriate. Despite desperate endeavours to maintain a unilateral cultural fa

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