Adapting History in Fiction and Film: The Pre-Partition Turmoil and Anglo-Indian Predicament in Bhowani Junction

Authors

  • AYESHA AKRAM
  • NADIA ANWAR

Abstract

The ongoing study assesses the presence of numerous partition narratives in literature and film, as a literary and historical mise en abyme a reflection of the original, frame within a frame, or a picture within a picture. Together, all these wide arrays of narratives and voices create the master narrative of Partition, and the ‘truth’ lies somewhere in between. Since these narratives also lay claim to being partially historic in nature, they provide a historiographic insight into the event of the Indian Partition in 1947, using the medium of literature and film. Bhowani Junction (1954), a novel by John Masters also provides a frame story, where, within the larger frame of Partition narrative, the characters tell their British and Anglo-Indian version of the events, providing three different perspectives to the narrative. With John Masters’ own claim of the novel being fictional as well as historical, the work immediately situates itself within the parameters of historiographic metafiction, a theoretical concept proposed by Linda Hutcheon. The historiographic mise en abyme is also created in the novel by weaving multiple partition stories within the main plot, using flashbacks and flashforwards.

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Published

2021-03-07

How to Cite

AYESHA AKRAM, & NADIA ANWAR. (2021). Adapting History in Fiction and Film: The Pre-Partition Turmoil and Anglo-Indian Predicament in Bhowani Junction. Quarterly Journal of the Pakistan Historical Society, 68(3). Retrieved from http://phs.com.pk/index.php/phs/article/view/85

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Articles