Saturday, January 10, 2009

What does the A stand for?

Current book: Midnight's Children
Pages read: 430-484

Well, our hero has regained his memory and married one of the other children of midnight so that he can act as father to the illegitimate child of yet another of them. Simultaneously, India has been wracked by warfare and finally entered a state of emergency. Saleem's son (only not really his son) was born at midnight the day that state of emergency was declared, and has ridiculously large ears in the same way that Saleem has a ridiculously large nose. I get what Rushdie's doing, and I think my supposition that he was trying to say that everyone is, in some way, an allegorical representation of their larger community was correct. That said, he's hitting it a little hard. I mean, really, another bizarrely-accentuated child born at midnight at another key moment in India's history? I got the message without being bludgeoned with it. It's like Hawthorne's imagery in The Scarlet Letter. Do we really need to see Chillingworth come out of the shadows and Dimmesdale to bleed from his chest to get what's going on? I don't know. I feel like I'm not being given any credit as a reader. Then again, I have an academic understanding of literature, so I'm predisposed to creating meaning where it doesn't exist. You can only read so many scholarly articles before some of the nonsense rubs off on your psyche. At least I haven't stooped to writing words with their prefixes in parentheses as a pathetic attempt to make them seem like they have two meanings. Jesus, I hate that. (You know what I mean - "(Re)Imagining Sexuality in Shakespeare's Blah-di-blah..." ::shudder::)

Definitely finishing tomorrow, if only to get the darn thing over with. I'm actually looking forward to getting into the modernist Main Street, because at least it's not freaking post-modern. (Sometimes it's nice if things actually make sense. Really, Rushdie, I promise I won't think less of you if something's possible in real life.)

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