ABSENCE OF SOCIAL PRAXIS IN ZULFIKAR GHOSE’S INTELLECTUAL AND CREATIVE VOICE
The present article has attempted to discuss the aesthetic views of a Pakistani-born-American novelist, essayist and poet Zulfikar Ghose by arguing that his outlook has been bereft of what many humanist thinkers have termed social praxis. It has been primarily derived from the idea of the praxis of Gramsci’s notion of organic intellectual that aims at social and cultural transformation via his intellectual vocation. In other words, by seeking to link the dialectics of theory and practice, the organic intellectual, in Gramsci’s view, creates ground for a practical philosophy that could shape and transform society on a more just and egalitarian footing. Naturally, such intellectual vocation is always mindful of social and ethical responsibility, implying that the actual task of an intellectual is to unmask those political and ideological structures which oppress and hegemonize people. However, contrary to this notion of a conscious and cognizant intellectual, Ghose’s non-fictional writings present him as an isolated, even elite intellectual who seems to stay complicit in his cozy and comfortable intellectual/artistic domain, immune and insular from the world outside. In other words, his views about artistic autonomy necessitate a reductive view of art and literature with its indifference or distance from social injustice or political oppression as the inescapable human condition. The article concludes the need to create an intellectual position that can catalyze change and transformation by involving the artistic and creative enterprise in a productive dialectics with the politics of representation and culture.