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.