In the Light of What We Know:
A Novel of Its Time
It is not easy to define the boundary between knowing and knowledge. Being informed and being knowledgeable can be two different intellectual states. IKnowing history can lead to a partial understanding of the present until one can interpret the present through history. Knowledge is the conclusion that one reaches after knowing and interpreting. For a novelist, his or her plot should inform the historical context and provide the readers with the scope to interpret the present through the facts of the past. A successful novel triggers constant interpretations as well as makes the readers doubt their interpretations. Also, a successful novel knows the necessity of its time. Keeping all these aspects in mind, it seems appropriate to coin Zia Haider Rahman’s In the Light of What We Know as a novel of its time. However, it is problematic to say that the novel offers knowledge or the scope of interpretation for readers. A novel needs to manifest the triggering events in its plot that fetches diverse interpretations from different cultures and countries. Rahman’s novel seems to refer to a lot of intellectual works and historical facts, but it is not clear how the readers will interpret the events by connecting the references with the events of the fiction.
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Copyright (c) 2015 Golam Rabbani
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