Ground Beneath Her Feet: Myth, Migration and Identity in Salman Rushdie

by Pierpaolo Martino

The Ground Beneath Her Feet – Salman Rushdie’s 1999 cult novel – stands as a very rich and complex cultural text, which today should be praised for the originality and intelligence of the author’s literary invention and for offering a crucial key for the understanding of essential aspects of our present. In the novel the Anglo-Indian writer investigates such complex topics as myth, migration, identity and celebrity, through an extremely rich narrative, which mixes ancient mythology and contemporary pop culture. More specifically the novel represents a space in which ancient myths (namely, the myth of Orpheus) migrate into new forms – shaping complex identities – and at the same time a rich narrative about music and pop musicians as contemporary myths, or better metaphors, of migration. It might be argued that myth, migration and identity represent the main themes and discursive forces of Rushdie’s musical narrative; these very forces are, in our perspective, essential in order to understand and respond to the present moment of the globalised era.