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This Passage Will Make You Think

I don’t know if it’s just that good, or if I’m just that dense, but I had to read this one several times to begin to follow Rushdie.

This is, of course, from Midnight’s Children

“Who what am I? My answer: I am the sum total of everything that went before me, of all I have been seen done, of everything done-to-me. I am everyone everything whose being-in-the-world affected was affected by mine. I am anything that happens after I’ve gone which would not have happened if I had not come. Nor am I particularly exceptional in this matter; each “I”, everyone of the now-six-hundred-million-plus of us, contains a similar multitude. I repeat for the last time: to understand me, you’ll have to swallow a world.”

The one particular sentence that jumps out at me: “I am anything that happens after I’ve gone which would not have happened if I had not come.”

That’s a deep thought to start your Tuesday morning. In fact, I think I’ll just leave that one right there, instead of expanding on it with a few pithy thoughts.

Now, go do something meaningful!

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18 Comments Post a comment
  1. Amazing. The passage is dense, but such wonderful writing. To understand me you”ll have to swallow a world. Too good!

    Like

    September 22, 2015
  2. Reblogged this on oshriradhekrishnabole.

    Like

    September 22, 2015
  3. pamgibbs #

    I am with Nish in that I love the line: To understand me, you’ll have to swallow a world. All too often, I forget that the people I interact with have a history that I cannot begin to understand.

    Liked by 1 person

    September 22, 2015
  4. What a great and powerful passage! At some points, I think there is a reference to the butterfly effect,( I am anything that happens after I’ve gone which would not have happened if I had not come.) but I could also be wrong.

    Liked by 1 person

    September 22, 2015
  5. I reckon it’s a playful reference to Krishna who as a young boy stole the butter his mother had churned. When asked to open his mouth she saw the whole world inside it. Just the sort of stuff Rushdie would use carelessly.

    Liked by 2 people

    September 22, 2015
  6. kht #

    Thanks for posting! Like others I especially enjoy the phrase “To understand me you’ll have to swallow the world…” The world Rushdie creates in Midnight’s Children is such a lush and overstuffed one too. Quite a swallow.

    Liked by 1 person

    September 22, 2015
  7. rath010 #

    This is also on my list – such an interesting thought.

    Like

    September 22, 2015
  8. Thanks for sharing this. I like the way Rushdie speaks to the importance of each individual. If I could only get my students to internalize this message.

    Like

    September 22, 2015
  9. InspirationalEntrepreneur #

    superb post,the true fact is that we are sum of all.

    Like

    September 22, 2015
  10. Tanya D #

    Reblogged this on Tanya and commented:
    “I am anything that happens after I’ve gone which would not have happened if I had not come.”

    Like

    September 22, 2015
  11. I kinda think Mr. Rushdie is showing off. See how smart I am. I can write deep philosophical stuff you don’t understand. Just goes to show you why you should keep me on my pedestal. Wonder what the Buddha would have to say about an ego like that.

    Like

    September 22, 2015
  12. Makes me think of light cones.

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    September 22, 2015
  13. One of my favourite passages from the book! I had to re-read most passages in order to understand them, but I just love Rushdie’s writing. Glad you’re enjoying the book!

    Like

    September 22, 2015
  14. this is such a beautiful and affecting passage. Thank you for sharing this!

    Like

    September 22, 2015
  15. It is indeed a complex piece of writing. Thanks for sharing.

    Like

    September 23, 2015
  16. I’m trying to work through my own list of 100 books, and this was the first one on the list that I read. When I read the brief description about it, it didn’t sound like the kind of book I would normally read at all. I ended up loving it though! The writing in it is so beautiful, and the story is captivating. I hope you end up enjoying it as much as I did!

    Like

    September 24, 2015
  17. I just found this blog–now want to pour through it. For me, that last Rushdie phrase in this quote jumps out here: “…to understand me, you’ll have to swallow a world.”

    Writers create, recreate, animate worlds for us to share. IMHO, that we can share in such a rich experience both together and in our own minds is what makes for literature.

    Perhaps this is because, as a writer of a teen time travel adventure, this is my own aspiration: to create and share a world that is, that might have been, and that might yet be.

    Like

    October 19, 2015
  18. Nice blog. really helpful. good work.

    Like

    May 4, 2017

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