Authors: Daniel Qin-Dong
The world has witnessed a dramatic resurgence of the non-Western world in the past twenty years. Examples can be China and India, the two societies with enduring ancient civilizations. It is undeniable that the mindsets of these societies have been playing a key part in the process. Literature as the most sharply elaborated human imagination illustrates this fact. How does literature enlighten us about this historical transformation in human history? Influential critic of art and literature Fredric Jameson gave a clear answer: instead of “clash” of civilizations, it is the convergence of civilizations that mattered the most in recent human history. The driving force behind this is a revolutionary restructuring, as is reflected in the Chinese literature. This article attempts to introduce Salman Rushdie’s highly acclaimed classic novel Midnight’s Children as a supreme example to demonstrate the Indian case of convergence of civilizations. The main character of the novel Saleem’s life experience manifests India’s struggle in revolutionary restructuring of its identity and personifies the process of convergence of civilizations as India exploring its collective consciousness. The end result is a powerful “unity in diversity” culture deeply rooted in the convergence of civilizations.
Keywords: convergence of civilizations, revolutionary restructuring, Indian society, Salman Rushdie