The graveyard and the Garden: Reading Connectivities in Rana Dasgupta’s The Changeling
Research output: Contribution to journal › Journal article › Research › peer-review
In the novel Tokyo Cancelled (2005), Rana Dasgupta explores the contemporary age of globalization as a time of chaotic change. Tokyo Cancelled is composed as a story cycle of 13 tales. This article focuses on one of these tales in particular, “The Changeling”. “The Changeling” relates the tumultuous experiences of Bernard, who is a changeling and archetypal stranger in the pestilence-ridden city of contemporary Paris. The article explores the juxtaposition of systemic and organic networks as the central trope through which Dasgupta explores change and connectivities in a global twenty-first-century moment. We argue that the story presents a process of symbolic transformation whereby the national capital changes into a global city. This change signifies a shift from a national towards a planetary perspective. “The Changeling” comprises at least two different kinds of networks which converge and conflate into one overarching web that is the metropolis: there is a systemic network of control materialized in Montparnasse graveyard and an organic network out of control manifested in a community garden where people congregate to tell stories. Indeed, Dasgupta revisits Benjaminian storytelling as a global networking practice which, while locally contextualized in an impromptu garden in Paris, hints at an awareness of worldwide connectivity.
|Journal||The Journal of Commonwealth Literature|
|Issue number||January 28, 2017|
|Number of pages||17|
|Publication status||E-pub ahead of print - 2017|
- Faculty of Humanities