Magic and Realism in The Tailor’s Needle

Vivek Kumar Dwivedi


Lakshmi Raj Sharma’s The Tailor’s Needle is a novel that seems to employ more magical realism than, perhaps, any other contemporary novel. It depends upon magical realism for its plot, situations and its very feel.

The Tailor’s Needle uses magical realism because of this inherited anxiety. The author tells the story by combing the ‘improbable’ with the ‘mundane’ to attract the Western reader. The hero, Sir Saraswati, manages impossible things like taming the British Viceroy, cowing a dreaded dacoit, solving a murder mystery in the haunted Nadir Palace, etc. His experience with a mystic who can virtually coexist in the worlds of the living and the dead is also fascinating. A fakir can curse Maneka, the heroine, and change her life as well as the direction in which the novel could have progressed.

Bhabha suggests that the colonizer suffers anxiety of mimicry (from the colonized) and therefore steers into the domain of the uncanny. Hence writers of the colonizing race frequently traverse the path of fantasy and the supernatural instead of projecting worlds of social reality. This paper suggests that the colonized author also suffers the same anxiety that the colonizing author suffers as the process of hybridization makes him inherit this anxiety as well. It seeks to delve deeper on this line. 


Magic, Realism. Postcolonial, India, Bhabha.

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