Post-9/11 re-orientalism: Confrontation and conciliation in Mohsin Hamid’s and Mira Nair’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist
Mendes, AC; Lau, L
This article offers a comparative reading of the novel and film adaptation of The Reluctant Fundamentalist, looking at the ways these texts represent changing Western public perceptions towards Pakistan and vice-versa along the temporal axis 2001–2007–2012. Both novel and film are informed by the post-9/11 distrust of the Muslim other. Mohsin Hamid’s novel was begun before 9/11 and published seven years later, in 2007; Mira Nair’s film adaptation followed in 2012, with a premiere at the Venice Film Festival (as the opening film) and the Toronto Film Festival. Ostensibly more conciliatory than Hamid’s novel, Nair’s film adaptation attempts to build bridges, stressing the tragedy of cultural suspicion and mistrust that besets the relationships between Pakistan and the US, endeavouring to open and facilitate dialogue. Despite utilizing spaces of ambiguity to expose the dangers of binary thinking, both novel and film ultimately demonstrate that representations are still unable to escape the loop of orientalism and re-orientalism, highlighting the tension of how East and West continue as locked into this circular mode of relational identity.
|Feb 22, 2016
|Mar 1, 2018
|Journal of Commonwealth Literature
|Mohsin Hamid, Mira Nair, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, re-orientalism, film adaptation, Pakistan, 9/11 cinema, 9/11 literature, Islamophobia
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