November 29, Final Paper: Rushdie and Saleem each have their own unique histories, which play a part in the construction of this novel. Saleem drifts between his present, his own past, and past events which are not part of his direct experience.
And, now, after reading it for a second time in four years, I feel I should ask myself a question: Is the opus, so voted by the readers as the Booker of Bookers inengrossing enough to guarantee reading pleasure even for a second reading? Here, in this second review of the book, let me try to articulate why I feel so.
To begin with, let me say, it is a quintessential Indian novel, one that demands a kind of intimate familiarity with Indian issues and myths from its readers.
Anybody with just passing knowledge about the country would not enjoy the book in a way an Indian reader would do. It is among the few must-read books on India—one that guarantees the value for time and money spent.
It is dense, gripping despite being garrulous, and rereading it is as much a refreshing experience as rereading the immortal classics of Panchatantra or Vetaal Pachisi or even the witty stories of Birbal and Tenaali Ram. It is one where history is churned and fictionalized, mythology is dug and sprinkled as condiments of narratives to the relish of the readers, heady and sometimes controversial doses of contemporary politics is mixed for an effect, sententious punchlines are left to philosophize and generalize…and all these done with one motive: Look, how copiously he uses the Hinglish!
In other time one would be conscious of the fact that he is writing something in English and the scope of such use is only limited. But Rushdie uses them with impunity, with auctorial license Kudos for his boldness!
There are words like kasundi which even many people in India would have to be told that it is a type of mango pickle; and there is another word, vimto, that refers to the home-made soda that is sold on a pushcart in a small town.
He has not explained them nor used any appositives to simplify, and these are only two examples out of a plethora. Look, how many tense shifts he makes—in the same paragraph, in the same sentence, sometimes to the utter confusion of a reader who expects to read stuffs composed of correct English only!
If any other writer leaves such things unedited in the final version of his book, the critics, before saying anything else about the work, jump to the easy nitpicking starting from the grammatical mistake! This happens especially when an Indian critic is critiquing a work written by an Indian--so much so that such reviews simply reek of the inferiority complex of the critic.
There is one explanation why, despite such rampant tense shifts, the narratives do not cease to be attractive. It is not say that the compulsions of storytelling alone make the author move from past to present and from present to past at will.
That in any case will be there, but then only to an extent. What Rushdie does here is to emulate Indian descriptive style, nay the very ethos of Indian languages.
It is like this. The context he uses these words could be different, yet what he postulates here is reflected in his style—throughout the entire thirty-chapter, along the length and breadth of the book. In Hindi or, for that matter, in many other Indian languages, we do not observe the tense rule as meticulously as we do in English.
Translated into English this will be something like this: He was wondering as to when he would be home to see for himself and get relieved that his child was safe. So, what is important in Indian language is the sense: This is how I think Rushdie has broken the rules of grammar to enhance the mobility of sense throughout his novel.
And look how frequently he makes the POV shifts.
Say from first person to third person. The narrator himself is telling his stories, everything that he has undergone during his thirty-one years of life from childhood to early youth.
That is mostly in first person. But then again, there are occasions when he shifts from that…and it is only too abrupt, too facile.Re-Presentation of India in Salman Rushdie’s ‘Midnight’s Children’ and Amitav Ghosh’s ‘ The Shadow Lines’ International Journal on Studies in English Language and Literature (IJSELL) Page | 42 Midnight’s Children and The Shadow Lines Rushdie’s ‘Midnight’s Children’, has completely transformed the Indian novel in English.
With the myriad voices and cultural complexity that is India, Salman Rushdie’s novel Midnight’s Children stakes claim to the culture, identity, history, and magic that is Indian life. Rushdie takes the English language out of its colonial context and makes it the utterance of Indian masses.
Mar 10, · Salman Rushdies’s Midnight’s Children is a tale of magical realism that tells the story of Saleem Sinai, A man born precisely as India became an independent country. Because he was born between midnight and one o’clock, Saleem has magical powers of telepathy.
Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie. Home / Literature / Midnight's Children / Midnight's Children Analysis Literary Devices in Midnight's Children. Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory. Setting. All right, we have a lot to cover here—about sixty-two years of history spread across three countries.
So strap on your thinking cap, because this. Midnight’s Children sounds like a continent finding its voice.” –The New York Times “In Salman Rushdie, India has produced a glittering novelist– one with startling imaginative and intellectual resources, a master of perpetual storytelling.” –The New Yorker.
Midnight's Children is a novel by Salman Rushdie that was first published in