Monday, November 2, 2009

My Grandfather's Nose -Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children

I just started reading Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children for a book club a friend started. Yay for book club! I'm excited to connect with some friends in that way and feed my brain that way. Brilliant. Anyway it feels great to be reading something for myself again, (I generally put off reading books to read the paper and the internet) something I feel challenges my brain- I have to read some sentences aloud to process them- and MAN the writing is glorious. Wanted to share this paragraph on pg. 8 starting "My Grandfather's nose..."

My grandfather's nose: nostrils flaring, curvaceous as dancers. Between them swells the nose's triumphal arch, first up and out, then down and under, sweeping in to his upper lip with a superb and at present red-tipped flick. An easy nose to hit a tussock with. I wish to place on record my gratitude to this mighty organ- if not for it, who would ever have believed me to be truly my mother's son, my grandfather's grandson?- this colossal apparatus which was to be my birthright, too. Doctor Aziz's nose- comparable only to the trunk of the elephant-headed God Ganesh- established incontrovertibly his right to be a patriarch. It was Tai who taught him that, too. When young Aadam was barely past puberty the dilapidated boatman said, "That's a nose to start a family on, my princeling. There'd be no mistaking whose brood they were. Mughal Emperors would have given their right hands for noses like that one. There are dynasties waiting inside it," -and here Tai lapsed into coarseness- "like snot." (Midnight's Children, Salman Rushdie, 1981)

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