meaningful discourse: The NOSE
- 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."
- 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"