This article reasons that the Jaipur Literature Festival between 2008 and 2011 attempted to institute via polemics, judgment, and celebration the category of the Pakistani novel in India by importing an alterity industry. By failing to contextualize alterity in a South Asian context, the festival reinforced a national, linguistic, and religious division between India and Pakistan. It produced a category like “Moonlight’s Children” as an “other” to an imagined Indian literature that is confused with a post–Salman Rushdie postcolonial and global anglophone canon. However, this analysis of the discourse produced at the festival by the discussants and the audience shows that a coconstituted South Asian literary history was consistently placed against a regionally competitive model. Importing alterity to produce an Indian or Pakistani literary identity was undermined by an attitude of disavowal toward the literary object and received categories like the global anglophone, postcolonial literature, and world literature. The author argues that this is not postcolonial resistance; rather, it is a trepidation to arrive at a conclusion, because to conclude is also to value, evaluate, and declare the existence of the “other” phantasmagoric literary identity and history.

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