South Asians, in their attempts to articulate post-colonial subjectivity, have themselves only reinscribed various aspects of colonial exoticism in their work. South Asian author Arundhati Roy’s rendering of untouchability in terms of godliness in The God of Small Things resonates with colonial ideologies that read “subalterns” as objects, not as subjects. Roy’s invocation of colonial methods of translation envisions untouchability in “absolutist terms”—a strategy that may ultimately mitigate against a recognition of the highly varied experiences, social agencies, and subjectivities of dalits living in South Asia and abroad.
Damai, Puspa. “Spectrogenetic Translation in Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things and Elsewhere” South Asia and its Others: Reading the ‘Exotic.’ Ed. V.G. Julie Rajan and Atreyee Phukan. New Castle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009. 79-102.