Testimony and the Urdu troposphere in Manto's 'Khol Do'
Manto, partition, trauma, Urdu, witnessing
While scholars of Partition frequently reference witnessing as a necessary frame for understanding Partition literature, and particularly the work of Saadat Hasan Manto, I analyse Manto’s short story ‘Khol Do’ (‘Open It’) to argue that the text’s use of Urdu-inflected tropology both deploys and exceeds the discourse of testimony. Through its turn toward magical realism in its devastating ending, ‘Khol Do’ demonstrates both the futility of attempting to definitively fix meaning in the context of unrelenting ambiguity, as well as the vital necessity of Urdu literature in constructing new communities of reading and interpretation in the wake of the ruptures of Partition.
Grewal, Sara Hakeem. "Testimony and the Urdu Troposphere in Manto's 'Khol Do.'" South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, Vol. 42.6 (2019): 1031-1045. DOI: 10.1080/00856401.2019.1669112
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