'Novel-seeming goods': rereading Salman Rushdie's 'Midnight's Children' and Patrick Süskind's 'Das Parfum' 40 years later

  • Jameson argues that in 'a society bereft of all historicity', 'what used to be the historical novel can no longer set out to represent the historical past'. The 'postmodern fate' of the historical novel is to be forced to come to terms with 'a new and original historical situation in which we are condemned to seek History by way of our own pop images and simulacra of that history, which itself remains forever out of reach. Salman Rushdie's "Midnight's Children" (1981) and Patrick Süskind's "Das Parfum. Die Geschichte eines Mörders" (1984) stand out as two hugely successful novels from this period that raise questions about historical representation within the space of the popular. They might therefore be used as test cases for Jameson's concerns. "Midnight's Children" is a sprawling story of Indian and British imperial and post-imperial history across the twentieth century. "Das Parfum" tells the tightly framed tale of a murderous perfumer in eighteenth-century France. Seemingly very different texts, they bear one curious similarity: both feature a protagonist with an unusually sensitive sense of smell.

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Author:David AndersonGND
Parent Title (German):ZfL Blog : Blog des Leibniz-Zentrums für Literatur- und Kulturforschung, Berlin
Series (Serial Number):ZfL Blog : Blog des Leibniz-Zentrums für Literatur- und Kulturforschung, Berlin (20.06.2022)
Publisher:Leibniz-Zentrum für Literatur- und Kulturforschung, Berlin
Place of publication:Berlin
Document Type:Part of Periodical
Date of Publication (online):2022/06/22
Date of first Publication:2022/06/20
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2022/06/23
GND Keyword:Rushdie, Salman; Midnight's children; Süskind, Patrick; Das Parfum; Jameson, Fredric; Postmoderne; Historischer Roman; Geruch <Motiv>
Page Number:4
First Page:1
Last Page:4
Dewey Decimal Classification:8 Literatur / 80 Literatur, Rhetorik, Literaturwissenschaft / 800 Literatur und Rhetorik
8 Literatur / 82 Englische, altenglische Literaturen / 820 Englische, altenglische Literaturen
8 Literatur / 83 Deutsche und verwandte Literaturen / 830 Literaturen germanischer Sprachen; Deutsche Literatur
Sammlungen:Germanistik / GiNDok
CompaRe | Allgemeine und Vergleichende Literaturwissenschaft
CompaRe | Allgemeine und Vergleichende Literaturwissenschaft / Leibniz-Zentrum für Literatur- und Kulturforschung, Berlin
BDSL-Klassifikation:18.00.00 20. Jahrhundert (1945-1989) / BDSL-Klassifikation: 18.00.00 20. Jahrhundert (1945-1989) > 18.14.00 Zu einzelnen Autoren
Zeitschriften / Jahresberichte:ZfL Blog : Blog des Leibniz-Zentrums für Literatur- und Kulturforschung, Berlin
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung-Nicht kommerziell-Keine Bearbeitung 3.0