In-between Men: Diasporas’ Experience and the Homoeroticism of Gibreel Farishta and Saladin Chamcha in The Satanic Verses

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Ming Panha

Abstract

This article aims at analyzing Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses in terms of nationality and sexuality by focusing on the development of Gibreel Farishta and Saladin Chamcha’s viewpoint about heterosexual identities. It argues that both characters’ desire to escape their homeland is also their desire to remain heterosexual. With the theoretical frameworks of Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick’s homosocial desire and Gayatri Gopinath’s queer diaspora, the article argues that the space of home, together with the desire to settle down, which means establishing home, entails homoerotic traits as one of its key factors. Consequently, both characters’ drive to escape their homeland could be considered homophobic, and, with their inability to accept their own homoerotic traits, they both fail to settle down in the host country. In the end, the article argues that the novel puts a premium on the acceptance of the instability of identities and reconciliation with home.

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Author Biography

Ming Panha

Ming Panha is a lecturer at the Department of English Language and Literature, Faculty of Liberal Arts, Thammasat University. He gained his B.A. degree from the Faculty of Arts, Chulalongkorn University, majoring in English. He graduated from Royal Holloway, University of London, receiving an M.A. in English Literature. His interests include nineteenth-century British literature, animal studies, and postcolonial literature.

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