Defying Boundaries
Mubashir Karim
INTIKHAB: NAIYER MASUD by Naiyer Masud Oxford University Press, 2017, 258 pp., 675
October 2017, volume 41, No XLI

Naiyer Masud’s short stories bring to mind the writings of mavericks like Haruki Murakami, Jose Saramago, Franz Kafka, Edgar Allen Poe, Robert Walser, Jorge Luis Borges and many more. However, he carves out a separate place for himself within the literary oeuvre. One of the primary reasons for this is his masterful use of Urdu language (where Persian words creep in like strange insects) and his eerie sense of temporality where one ceases to differentiate between the past, present and the future—a sense of time and space which almost seems common in all his stories yet is distinguishable by the degrees of decay and dilapidation they offer. Although quite a number of writers and critics try to straitjacket his stories under the popular genre of Magical Realism, Naiyer Masud’s writings, in my view, defy those boundaries, as these at no point seem apologetic or lacking closure or offer any possible solution.

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