Literary Shelf

From Don Kihotte to the Temporary People

Novels occupy the place of legends of the pre-modern era in the modern world. Mikhail Bakhtin sees the novel as a literary form that incorporates all the existing forms of literature. The novel became a super-genre that made all other literary forms unique and flawed. The novel Don Miguel de Cervantes, considered the first novel, is a transparent medium that shows how to incorporate the epic and the lyric into the particular form of storytelling, and above all, allow the reader to laugh at the gentleman in La Mancha and mourn his tragedy. And he did it. As some commentators have pointed out, Don Kihotek was insane as a shield against the brutal collapse of time, or the necessity for a distorted, outdated way of viewing the world. The novel, already a clever reader, enters into the characteristic idea of the novel. The reader is able to see beyond the hero's madness, not only through the characters of Don Gihotte's companion, Sancho Panza, but also by creating a reader who understands the story in all its integrity.  The novel also proposes the idea that the majority is the truth, and that perhaps the most secular of madness - that the cause of insanity can be found in the individual's own internal conflicts - is not to be found in Shakespeare's Hamlet of the same period. More than a hundred years before Rene Dakar was declared "I think so I am", Don Kihotte has established man as the center of knowledge in the universe. The novel tells the story of a man who sets out to discover sea routes and continents. A man who transcends nature and has a profound confidence in the scholarship of theworld.

But what happens to this prudent reader in today's age where confidence is being crushed by climate change and data breaches driven by forces beyond us? In Amitav Ghosh's The Great Disrangement (2016), the main reason why novels are unable to respond to climate change is to point to the idea of normalcy in realist novels.

They come only as a strange backdrop that does not find a place in the literature considered. In the realist novels, natural man's actions remained a constant and passive setting. The fact that nature can have its own dynamics beyond human knowledge has been overlooked due to the destructive perception of statistical normalcy. How often does the last flood occur?Which literary form would best describe the lives of migrant workers in the Gulf? Immigrants to the Gulf are different from those who migrate to Europe or the US. There is no hope for Gulf immigrants to obtain citizenship or permanent residency there. These men are never part of the body politics of the Gulf countries.

In fact, the term NRI or expatriate Indian is mainly formulated as part of the Indian State Foreign Exchange Control Act to allow remittances from the Gulf (Neha Vora, Impossible Citizens, 26-27). Meanwhile, Gulf migrants are being denied voting rights in India. Deepak Unnikrishnan calls it the "Temporary People" - a limbo situation that keeps Gulf migrants here and there.

Deepak Unnikrishnan grew up in Abu Dhabi. For him, it was also the city that never became a citizen. For the children of immigrants growing up in the Gulf, the situation is more complicated. The place where they make life is asking them to leave when they reach 18 years of age. The issue of the girls will depend on the sponsor's decision.

When it was time to leave, Deepak Unnikrishnan left the US and later returned to the UAE as a university teacher.

The novel deals with the experiences of migrant workers from Kerala to the Gulf and does not advance a comprehensive story. There is some connection between the stories though there is no personal development of the character or the structure of the space-time unity. One story can be seen in another story.

Some of the characters also reappear, but any attempt to combine them into a rational narrative becomes useless. The book is easy to read as a product of the hybridity that celebrated the multicultural cosmopolitan poster boys / girls that are part of globalization.

The Arabic language and the rising Arabic numerals, which are frequent in the novel, allude to the coexistence of cultures. Perhaps that is a false assumption. The novel presents us with the mysteries of migration, despite the many layers of identity and the many crossing boundaries.

Often it is impossible to be certain whether a scene described by the writer is objective reality or subjective fantasy. For example, there is a picture of a boy walking to the street one day running out of his mouth. The novel talks about how language becomes a non-communicative field. Like the big brands of global capitalism, when words lose meaning and become fetishes, the language becomes more and more interpreted, reduced to the act of seeing and hearing. With the fact that the Temporary People migrated - even if it was not a contemporary transaction - the literary branch of the novel hints at reaching that conclusion. During the inventions of the pre-Millennium, the influx of immigrant communities seeking employment was active. But the world of novels (roughly the same period as the novel literature itself) In terms of space and time - later celebrated as realism - consistency is preferred. Temporary People is a novel about immigration.


More by :  Shammas Mannengal

Top | Literary Shelf

Views: 3339      Comments: 0

Name *

Email ID

Comment *
Verification Code*

Can't read? Reload

Please fill the above code for verification.