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meaningful discourse: The NOSE

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  • liquidmice
    Regarding the Big nose in Midnight s Children: Earlier I pondered the connection between Saleem s nose and the similarly huge trunk of Lord Ganesha.
    Message 1 of 128 , Sep 27 2:28 PM
      Regarding the Big nose in Midnight's
      Children:<br><br>Earlier I pondered the connection between Saleem's nose
      and the similarly huge trunk of Lord Ganesha. Perhaps
      Rushdie did connect the two by their olfactory
      appendages, but perhaps the significance of the BIG nose is
      more 'sociological' than 'spiritual.' Rushdie often
      creates a theme of foreign-ness in his novels. In the
      Satanic Verses, Saladin Chamcha is transformed into a
      goat/demon, meant to symbolize his foreign-ness/existence as
      an outsider or alien. Perhaps the huge nose also is
      a symbol of a character's status as an outsider.
      Saleem's Kashmiri father (Doctor Aziz) left his home,
      returned as an educated outsider (rejected by Tai), left
      Kashmir for India and again became somewhat of a
      foreigner (at least in his own eyes.) And of course, Dr.
      Aziz too had the distinctive large nose.
      <br><br>"Foreigners" are often described as having big noses (most
      notably Jews, but African-Americans are often described
      as having big or flat noses. Other foreigners may
      also share this cliche description.) Could this
      stereotype be Rushdie's tool to "segregate" his characters
      from the rest of society? To make them foreigners, and
      more importantly INDIVIDUALS??? Anyone agree? IN_DKNY,
      did class discussion consider this? Am I sniffing up
      the wrong tree? <br><br>Another symbol of
      foreign-ness? The non-healing bruise on Dr. Aziz's chest after
      the massacre. Aziz says something about the bruise
      and how it was his reminder that he is not Indian...I
      just can't remember where. Also Saleem's torn-out bald
      spot. A socially induced symbol of his foreign-ness?
      <br><br>Saleem says, at one point: "...perhaps, if one wishes to
      remain an individual in the midst of the teeming
      multitudes, one must make oneself grotesque."
    • snow_beltreallydeep
      I will keep my eyes open for your suggested title. With the controversy over The Satanic Verses we heard that Christianity hasn t been maligned in novels, and
      Message 128 of 128 , Jan 9, 2002
        I will keep my eyes open for your suggested
        title. With the controversy over The Satanic Verses we
        heard that Christianity hasn't been maligned in novels,
        and if it were, Christians would be very vocal in
        protesting such a novel.<br><br><br>Not Wanted On the Voyage
        by Timothey Findlay is quite the version of Noah's
        Ark, and although I'm not a Christian, I kept glancing
        over my shoulder, on the look out for lightening bolts
        all the time I was reading it. (It is a brilliant
        book.)<br><br>I'm reading a John Updike novel now, "Toward the End
        of Time", seemingly written around the same time as
        The Satanic Verses, although the copyright date is
        1997. Updike's main character also moves through time,
        and becomes a main character in Biblical stories.
        Updike's work has a theological approach as well, and he
        also questions accepted dogma. <br><br><br>I haven't
        finished it yet, but I wonder if anyone else in this
        discussion group has read it, and seen a similarity.
        <br><br> How does Milan Kundera react to these "profane"
        works?
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