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EXPATRIATE NARRATIVES OF THE CITY OF DELHI

 

SANGEETA MITTAL, PH. D

MAHARAJA AGRASEN COLLEGE,

 UNIVERSITY OF DELHI, DELHI,

INDIA

SANGEETA685@GMAIL.COM

ORCID ID: 0000-0002-7689-7446

 

Abstract

The city’s expatriate population has been steadily on the rise in India. There are several narratives that are born out of foreign presence in global cities, and Delhi is no different. While we derive a sense of expatriate life and times in Delhi cumulatively from a clutch of sources like forums of shared experience and information and blogs, interviews, articles, and reports etc., expatriates in Delhi have also found the urge and the ethos to write longer narratives. This paper examines some of the best known examples of expatriate novels located in Delhi with the objective of placing Delhi on the map of important urban-global narrative trajectories traced by the expatriate novel. The above inquiry suggests that Delhi is an important world capital on crisscrossing loci of rapid and incessant global flux. It has dazed and enticed the global jet-setters in equal measures. The expatriate’s gaze is the Lacanian gaze where the gazed object does not remain mute or inanimate but speaks back to the gazer in a reciprocal relationship. As the expatriate feels objectified and marooned in an alien city, she also gazes back at the city as a resistive tool to manage her objectified otherness. It is a rewarding project to study the Delhi based expatriate writing of William Dalrymple, Sam Miller, Dave Prager, Rana Dasgupta and Raza Rumi as it is rich with voices, strategies, issues and images that are resonant and iridescent with meaning for not only expatriates and trans-nationals but also for every resident, settler, writer and thinker associated with Delhi.

journal of english

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2017-08-01T09:36:12+00:00
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