Crossing Borders through Music in Rushdie’s The Around Beneath her Feet Cover Image
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Crossing Borders through Music in Rushdie’s The Around Beneath her Feet
Crossing Borders through Music in Rushdie’s The Around Beneath her Feet

Author(s): Titus Pop
Subject(s): Cultural Essay, Political Essay, Societal Essay
Published by: Institutul de Cercetări Socio-Umane Gheorghe Şincai al Academiei Române
Keywords: Salman Rushdie; the role of music; crossing borders

Summary/Abstract: Salman Rushdie, in his novel called The Ground Beneath Her Feet employs the power of popular culture, particularly music, to produce tectonic movements. In its evocation of music as a globalized cultural phenomenon, Rushdie's novel is a celebration of a fluid, hybrid vision of contemporary life. Throughout the novel, Rushdie employs as usual a range of literary, historical and intellectual references, from Karl Marx and Charles Baudelaire through to William Faulkner and Jorge Luis Borges, but, at the same time, gives centre stage to a form of popular or mass culture, namely rock music. After referring to some theoretical background on popular music, I will briefly delineate the plot of the novel and touch upon the references Rushdie makes to music, his employing of the Orpheus myth, and his applying it to popular music. I will demonstrate how Rushdie uses popular music, namely rock music, as a trope of hybridity or as a common ground which transgresses all sorts of borders-between myth and reality, cultural, mental or racial borders. Music is proposed as a catalyst of plurality and of mutual understanding between people.

  • Issue Year: 2008
  • Issue No: 11
  • Page Range: 115-130
  • Page Count: 16
  • Language: English