Dislocating Time: Nampally Road and the Politics of Non-synchronism

Part of the New Comparisons in World Literature book series (NCWL)


This chapter offers a reading of Meena Alexander’s novel Nampally Road from the point of view of the dialectic of non-synchronism. Set during the times of the Indian Emergency in the 1970s, Alexander’s work shows the conflicting valences of nostalgic returns of the past in political struggle: non-synchronism as activation of unsubsumed remnants in the constitution of subjective agency. While, on the one hand, non-synchronism appears as resurgence of mythological manipulations of history in the service of authoritarian populism, on the other hand, the non-synchronous dislocation of time at the heart of the novel also reveals potentialities of social resistance and transformation. Shuttling between the anamnestic level of individual story and the representation of historical tendencies, Nampally Road captures the non-synchronous politics of mythological revival and collective unrest in a peripheral formation caught between decolonisation and neoliberalism.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Liverpool John Moores UniversityLiverpoolUK

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