2008 Student Research Conference:
21st Annual Student Research Conference

Questioning Kelman's Critique of Stereotypes in The Satanic Verses
Christopher J. Pivirotto
Dr. Hena Ahmad, Faculty Mentor

In an essay entitled, "English Literature and the Small Coterie," author James Kelman attacks the validity of The Satanic Verses on the grounds that Rushdie "fails too often for comfort" to "turn a prejudice on its head," "revealing the stereotyped character as an ordinary human being, with the specific qualities thereby demanded." This, according to Kelman, serves to reinforce stereotypes which, ostensibly, Rushdie wishes to undermine. For the literary establishment to have examined such things would have been to expose "the endemic racism, class bias and general elitism at the English end of the Anglo-American literary tradition." The charge of hypocrisy is not out of line in relation to Kelman's criticism when considering his work in general and How Late It Was, How Late in particular. In any case, Kelman fails to see how The Satanic Verses effectively undermines racism.

Keywords: 

Topic(s):English

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 6-5
Location: OP 2121
Time: 9:15

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