Baumgartner Bounced by Bombay: Malady of Exclusion and Beyond
Prof. Chetan Trivedi, Ramkrishna Das
diaspora, Jews, Holocaust, expatriation, exclusion, citizenship, right to exclude
In the decades of postcolonial triumph, dis/re-location and disjuncture have ensued the discourse on power and its distribution with less emphasis on the complex transformation of colonial capitals into postcolonial metropolitans, especially in reference to their raging cosmopolitan policy and ethics. Apart from inclusivity as a virtue of cosmopolitanism, albeit exclusion, or involuntary acculturation are merely pretended rarity or repression engraved. Now, in this context, if assimilation is the most suitable method of survival to avoid irreconcilable alienation, then failure to do so suggests nothing worse but imminent tragedy. Such a tragic story is my case in point - Baumgartner's Bombay (1988) by Anita Desai. Few issues this text instigates to probe into are: (1) the agencies or factors dissent to which brought a tragic destiny to Baumgartner? (2) His major obstacles to conform to assimilation? And finally, (3) the conceptual inadequacy to designate the experience of Baumgartner as Diasporic exile; or dystopian expatriation; or a fated wandering Jew succumbing into stereotypical callous anonymity; or something else altogether? This paper attempts to study the above mentioned literary-cultural disputes through the prism of psychoanalysis (specifically, trauma theory) and racial antagonism as shifting the barriers of power accumulation and assertion by following the larger framework of history of Jewish diaspora and the story of Hugo Baumgartner
Article Details
Unique Paper ID: 152816

Publication Volume & Issue: Volume 8, Issue 4

Page(s): 536 - 540
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