Rushdie and the Problem of Exile


  • Dr. Shadan Jafri Associate Professor, Dept. of English, Agra College, Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India



Exile, Migrant, Native, Homelessness, Bonding.


Exile in the words of Wallace Stevens, is “a mind of winter” in which the pathos of summer and autumn as much as the potential of spring are nearby but unobtainable. Exile originated in the age-old practice of banishment. Once banished, the exile lives an anomalous and miserable life, with the stigma of being an outsider. Although it is true that anyone prevented from returning home is an exile, some distinctions can be made among exiles, refugees, expatriates and émigrés. Edward Said, in his work, Reflections on Exile, writes, “Refugees…are a creation of the twentieth-century state.” The word “refugee” has become a political one, suggesting large herds of innocent and bewildered people requiring urgent international assistance, whereas “exile” carries with it, I think, a touch of solitude and spirituality. Expatriates voluntarily live in an alien country; usually for personal or social reasons…An émigré is anyone who emigrates to a new country. (181) In this paper, I will take up Salman Rushdie and his experience of exile and try to analyse and differentiate the two kinds of exiles he underwent in his career.



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Edward Said, Reflections on Exile and other literary and cultural essays, Penguin Books India Ltd., New Delhi, 2001.

James Joyce, Dubliners, XX-XXI.

Gillian Rose, The Melancholic Science, An Introduction to the Thought of Theodor. W. Adorno. London: The Macmillan Press. 1978

Aijaz Ahmad, In Theory:Classes, Nations, Literatures, Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 2002.

Salman Rushdie, Imaginary Homelands: Essays and Criticism 1981-1991, London, Granta, 1991.

D. C. R. A. Goonetilleke, Salman Rushdie, 1998.

Catherine Cundy, Salman Rushdie, 1998.

Salman Rushdie,Shame, Picador, London, 1983.




How to Cite

Jafri, D. S. . (2021). Rushdie and the Problem of Exile. SMART MOVES JOURNAL IJELLH, 9(2), 106–118.