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Accion y Ideologia by Ignacio Martín-Baró

By Ignacio Martín-Baró

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The Wandering Jew and the nomad here are virtually interchangeable. If, initially, the speaker can declare, seemingly without irony, that “nothing ever comes as charming as exile” (11), the status of the diasporic subject is much more ambiguous by the poem’s end; the poem concludes with the declaration “No one can evade his land even in nightmares” (112). The farewell proclaimed so blithely in the title is therefore always incomplete. It is entirely fitting that Sofiul Azam dedicated “And So Farewell, My Country,” with the Wandering Jew at its heart, to Salman Rushdie.

Digital is given relatively little character development in this first text, and there, at least, does not seem to be a Wandering Jew. Indeed, Digital’s storyline revolves around the question of whether or not he will pursue an H1-B visa and emigrate to the United States, as his fiancé and her family suggest. Ultimately, he makes the decision to stay in India and, indeed, to return to his home city of Calcutta. As such, Digital’s exemplary characteristic is not his mobility but his stasis; he chooses a national identity over a diasporic one.

In that novel, a Jewish man is paired with an Indian woman. Like the Jewish characters in the earlier Rushdie novels discussed above, Max’s Jewishness seems to be defined not so much by any sense of religious or cultural practice, but in, paradoxically, both racialized and utterly ineffable terms. In the first third of the novel, we are presented with two competing models Jew s a n d I n d i a n s 41 of hybridity. The first is embodied in Max Ophuls, who, as Jason Cowley observes, is “somebody from everywhere.

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