File spoon-archives/postcolonial.archive/postcolonial_2003/postcolonial.0306, message 23

Date: Tue, 3 Jun 2003 22:04:02 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Rushdie-two questions

I'm not a Benjaminian expert, and I don't recall any Benjamin writing that would closely match your quote - it does strike me that it might be Benjamin-as-borrowed-from-Brecht.  Have you tried looking through Brecht's work?  Just a thought

"C. Y. Chen" <> wrote:

Some questions regarding Rushdie have been puzzling me.  Will greatly appreciate any insight.
1) Publication date of *Midnight's Children*: My Penguin version says the novel was first published in Great Britain by Jonathan Cape in 1980.  But many critics have cited the year 1981.  Even Rushdie himself in *Imaginary Homelands* mentions 1981 instead of 1980.  Any idea?
2) Rushdie himself in a lecture/interview (later published in journal Kunapipi 7.1) says that the allegorical technique he used in *Midnight's Children* is Benjamin's "leitmotif," which is "recurring things in the plot incidents or objects or phrases which in themselves have no meaning or no particular meaning but which form a kind of non-rational network of connections in the book" (p. 3).  It makes a lot of sense for the novel, yet from my readings of Benjamin, I don't recall having seen any description of allegory as above.  Can any Benjaminian expert help me out?
Many many thanks in advance.

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