European Review

Research Article

An equal music, an alien world: postcolonial literature and the representation of European culture

a1 Dipartimento Lingue e Letterature Straniere Moderne, via Cartoleria 5, 40124 Bologna, Italy E-mail:


The Postcolonial representation of European culture can alter our (European) perspectives on Western arts. The case of the novel An Equal Music by the Indian writer Vikram Seth is particularly interesting. Although set in Europe (between London, Vienna and Venice) and dealing with European characters, situations, landscapes, and cultural myths, the book offers a peculiarly Postcolonial reading of our classical music. Therefore, by applying Said's contrapuntal analysis to Postcolonial writing, I deal with ‘What the Postcolonial means for us’, taking into account, besides European Literature and Postcolonialism, also the relationship between European music and the Postcolonial sensibility, using Said's and Kundera's essays as keys to Seth's musical and fictional world.