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In StereotypeSouth Asia in the Global Literary Imaginary$
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Mrinalini Chakravorty

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231165969

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231165969.001.0001

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Stereotypes As Provocation

(p.1) Prologue
In Stereotype

Mrinalini Chakravorty

Columbia University Press

This chapter presents the rationale of the book: interrogating the stereotype's perceived flatness, as it argues that it is a stereotype's elasticity that makes it indispensable to how global fiction is read. The book also discusses the ambivalent nature of the stereotype, both as a general concept and as prevalent in South Asian iterations. It theorizes the seductive force of the stereotype as an explanatory mechanism, while explaining the use and persistent allure of predictable representations of South Asia. By probing contexts ranging from the independence of the Indian subcontinent, to poverty, tourism, civil war, migration, domestic labor, and terrorist radicalism, the book encourages the interpretation of the ethics of literary representations of cultural and global difference.

Keywords:   global fiction, stereotype, explanatory mechanism, South Asia representation, South Asian iterations

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