Monday, November 22, 2010

The Reluctant Fundamentalist

Here is a podcast that I want to recommend you simply listen to. I do not want to say too much about it. On Big Ideas, listen to Robert Adams give his interpretation of Moshin Hamid's novel The Reluctant Fundamentalist. (feed)

The novel and Adams's interpretation give a personal touch to the clash of cultures. It also broadens the perception of Anti-Americanism beyond the world of Islam. As a matter of fact, Adams is of the opinion the novel is not about religion at all. It is about identity, about the identity one aspires and the culture to which one would want to belong. In that sense the whole discussion is thoroughly modern: culture has become a matter of choice, but that is not Adams's main point and probably also not Hamid's.

One thing I cannot resist to point out: Adams claims not to know of any other novel that has a monologue of the main character and a discussion partner who, although we do not hear his words, we get to know through the reactions of the speaker. My immediate thoughts of comparison went to the novel by Albert Camus, La Chute.

More Big Ideas:
Ayaan Hirsi Ali and the quest against Islam,
Jewish Humor,
JRR Tolkien versus CS Lewis,
Malcolm Gladwell,
The Age of Inequality.
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