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The Magic of Beauty in Salman Rushdie’s Novel The Enchantress of Florence
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
2011 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 15 credits / 22,5 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

One of the main themes in Salman Rushdie’s novel The Enchantress of Florence is an artistic exploration of human nature, in particular of the idea of the transforming power of beauty, which, due to its intrinsic harmony, makes people more open-minded and humane.  The novel brings together the West and the East, demonstrating that the similarities between people belonging to different cultures overpower the differences. Written in the mode of magic realism, this postmodernist novel invokes the history of the sixteenth century as the pinnacle of artistic progress in the history of both Europe and India, with flourishing arts and new humanistic ideas.  People are enchanted by the embodiment of beauty, the princess Qara Köz, and undergo different kinds of humanizing changes; life-giving and life-saving power of beauty is manifested both in the characters’ behaviour and in the creative works of art which bestow life upon beauty even after the death of the princess. Thus, beauty gives meaning to the lives of the characters in the novel and, at the same time, highlights the common features of human nature that unite people throughout time and space. Elaine Scarry’s work in literary and aesthetic criticism and her theorization of our appreciation of beauty as a humanizing factor echoes the ideas enacted in the novel, which is why her book has been chosen as the main theoretical source.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. , 22 p.
Keyword [en]
beauty, human nature, art, humanizing
National Category
Languages and Literature
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-61837OAI: diva2:438145
2011-06-09, E824, Department of English Stockholm University S-106 91 Stockholm Sweden, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Humanities, Theology
Available from: 2011-09-30 Created: 2011-09-01 Last updated: 2011-09-30Bibliographically approved

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