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Rushdie’s Narrator Is Falling Apart…Literally

I want to take you into the early pages of Midnight’s Children today. It’s a novel that I’ve found intriguing to this point–filled with a nice balance of satirical humor and unique character development.

To give you an idea of Salman Rushdie’s style, I present this paragraph, the first paragraph of one of the early chapters in the novel:

Please believe that I am falling apart.

I am not speaking metaphorically, nor is this the opening gambit of some melodramatic, riddling, grubby appeal for pity. I mean quite simply that I have begun to crack all over like and old jug–that my poor body, singular, unlovely, buffeted by too much history, subjected to drainage above and drainage below, mutilated by doors, brained by spittoons, has started coming apart at the seams. In short, I am literally disintegrating, slowly for the moment, although there are signs of acceleration. I ask you only to accept (as I have accepted) that I shall eventually crumble into (approximately) six hundred and thirty million particles of anonymous, and necessary oblivious, dust. This is why I have resolved to confide in paper, before I forget. (We are a nation of forgetters.)

That, friends, is pretty amazing writing.

And there’s a lot going on there with this narrator, Saleem Sinai: age, the effects of time, drainage.

Obviously, there’s much more to this chapter, and book, but we’ll save that for later.

More to come.

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13 Comments Post a comment
  1. I’ve never read Midnight’s Children and I’m both curious and nervous about the prospect of doing so–so I anticipate your thoughts even more than I normally do.

    Like

    August 25, 2015
  2. Great sample of a great novel. The Booker of Bookers. Martin Amis says there are two types of novelists. Type A are plot-driven writers. Type B are voice-driven writers. He puts himself in the B category but Rushdie can easily fit in both.

    Like

    August 25, 2015
  3. I think Rushdie is a wonderful writer. I just finished The Satanic Verses and am now reading a galley of his newest novel. I haven’t yet read Midnight’s Children so I am looking forward to reading your thoughts

    Like

    August 25, 2015
  4. sitanaik #

    It’s one of my favourites, high on my to re-read list. Has special resonance for us in India. His prose is fluid, even when the story is weak, you read the book only for the language

    Like

    August 25, 2015
  5. Very interesting 😉

    Like

    August 25, 2015
  6. I find Rushdie’s writing intriguing and complex. He’s definitely one of today’s greatest authors.

    Like

    August 25, 2015
  7. A great book, it’s an interesting look at the partition of India.

    Like

    August 25, 2015
  8. I’ve tried reading this as its on my Lit course for uni this year! It’s one of the longest books on the course but I’m finding it difficult to get into!

    Like

    August 25, 2015
  9. sylviemarieheroux #

    Nose and knees, knees and nose!

    Like

    August 25, 2015
  10. Sin #

    I never liked the beginning of this book and I abandoned it but you make me feel like reading it again.

    Like

    August 25, 2015
  11. Reblogged this on oshriradhekrishnabole.

    Like

    August 26, 2015
  12. adventuresofcoops #

    I LOVE this book. Just reading that extract has made me want to read it again!

    Like

    August 27, 2015
  13. Love your work!

    Like

    August 27, 2015

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