Monday, August 25, 2008

Midnight's Children - post I

The idea of choosing this doorstep of a boom for a holiday read was that it would be something to consume while the children amused themselves. Apart from one day by a lake that never happened so it has come back with me far from finished.

The introduction helps set the scene not just of the book that follows but also of the importance it played in Rushdie’s life as a writer/. You sense that had this failed he would have given up. As most writers seem to do he turned to himself and the things he knew to draw on as inspiration and his story is of a character that is born on midnight at the moment India becomes independent.

The style of writing and the references to a land and religion I have not too much knowledge of take time but it does start to become easier and in a Tolstoyian sense this starts to map out the history of the grandfather of the narrator starting the story with an Indian doctor freshly qualified back from Heidelberg.

His association with Europe cuts him off from his family and friends on the one hand but elevates him on the other and makes him a suitable match for a rich merchants daughter. Their courtship, as doctor treating patient, through a perforated sheet sets the scene for the introduction as a reader into a very different world.

More tomorrow…

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