The Afterlife of Stereotypes
This concluding chapter presents three arguments from this book regarding the study of stereotypes in South Asia. Stereotypical portraits urge a critical evaluation of one's psychic, social, and political allegiances in a transnational world carved on the basis of differences mediated by colonial and neo-imperial sensibilities. First, stereotypes reveal the beleaguered nature of mimesis itself, caught between stilted realism and an anxious fantasy. Second, stereotypes especially in global novels, encourage people to recognize the genre of the global novel itself as forwarding a fiction about divided worlds. Third, stereotypes compel people to consider how their readings are swayed by commonplace signs that gesture to more, less, and other than what they seem.
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