Spatial politics in Nadeem Aslam’s The Wasted Vigil and The Blind Man’s Garden

Güleryüz Kara, Gülsevin
This thesis aims to analyze British-Pakistani author Nadeem Aslam’s novels The Wasted Vigil (2008) and The Blind Man’s Garden (2013) in terms of how Afghanistan and Pakistan are represented and reconfigured as postcolonial spaces. In the spirit aspired by Sara Upstone’s concept of post-space which suggests a sense of spatiality that resists imperial totalizations of space, subverts colonial frames and puts forward spatial reconfigurations by foregrounding diverse experiences of postcolonial spaces, this study essentially focuses on the post-space representations embedded in these novels. Challenging nation as a political construct and reframing it through alternative spatial locations, Aslam’s novels analysed in this study subtly reconfigure national spaces by accentuating smaller-than-national and larger-than national spaces. These alternative spatial locations vary from physical spaces like home, school, garden, to conceptual spaces such as microstories, neglected cultural and natural spaces and journey. The Wasted Vigil and The Blind Man’s Garden stand out as two prominent examples of ‘war-on-terror’ fiction that deals with socio-political and psychological complexities of post-9/11 period. Thus reframing national spaces the way these novels together suggest also undermines the post-9/11 discourse that feeds on essentialist national stereotypes and binaries, and invites the reader to rethink the mainstream Anglo-American representation of Afghanistan and Pakistan.