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From Meaning to Metaphor: Reading Exile and Faith in Zia Haider Rahman's 'In the Light of What We Know'

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journal contribution
posted on 2022-02-15, 06:36 authored by Chinmaya Lal ThakurChinmaya Lal Thakur
negotiation of exile, belongingness, and the limits of epistemology carried out in the backdrop of events like the 9/11 attacks and the Global Financial Crisis of 2008. What most commentators have missed, however, is the nature of the ‘consolation’ that its protagonist Zafar achieves as its narrative comes to the point of conclusion. The present paper argues that Zafar’s realization—that humans are essentially incapable of grasping the nature of things—is not only the consequence of his exilic circumstance marked by disruptive global events. Rather, the awareness is also on account of his coming to experience and invest his faith in someone outside of himself. This paper suggests that Zafar comprehends the limits to human endeavor and agency, and expresses his faith in metaphors, metaphors like trust and faith, that provide him the bare minimum to continue with the business of living.


Publication Date



Ex-centric Narratives: Journal of Anglophone Literature, Culture and Media



Article Number



13p. (p. 108-120)


School of English, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece



Rights Statement

Copyright (c) 2021 Chinmaya Lal Thakur. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0 International License (CC-BY-SA 4.0). See

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