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Reception of "Shalimar the Clown" ; Is This It? : Criticism under Scrutiny

By J.R.C. Schreinemakers

Abstract

The way Salman Rushdie’s novel “Shalimar the Clown” was presented in reviews did not correspond with my impression of the novel. It is understandable that “The Satanic Verses” and “Shalimar the Clown” are compared, since the subject matter seems similar. However, the subject matter is not the same. Moreover, both novels are unique. This is confirmed by the observation that the reception of “Shalimar the Clown” was uneventful, which is in sharp contrast with the reception of “The Satanic Verses”. In the reception of “Shalimar the Clown”, reviewers linked “The Satanic Verses” to “Shalimar the Clown” by referring to “The Satanic Verses” and its reception. The hypothesis of this thesis is that these references to “The Satanic Verses” and its reception influenced the reception of “Shalimar the Clown”. An analysis was conducted which confirmed the hypothesis. This immediately led to the question how they influenced the reception. The thesis answers this question, and it demonstrates the effect of the references to “The Satanic Verses” on the reception of “Shalimar the Clown”: they resulted in biased criticism and the biased criticism that dominated the reviews created an incorrect image of “Shalimar the Clown”. The recommendations are to compare the novels by means of a literary analysis and to develop a set of objectifying criteria so as to constrain biased criticism

Topics: Letteren, Reception of 'Shalimar the Clown', Reception of 'The Satanic Verses', Biased criticism, Influences on Reception, Rushdie, Religious intolerance, Censorship
Year: 2007
OAI identifier: oai:dspace.library.uu.nl:1874/23322
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