I have been reading Arundhati Roy’s THE GOD OF SMALL THINGS for about two months now. The writing is so chock full of metaphor and whimsical details that after a few chapters I find I have to put the book down to digest what I’ve just read. Sadly, at the end with roughly four chapters left, I have “misplaced” my copy! I am sure it is either in the safe hands of Cozbi Cabrera, whose store I visited to pick up my handmade goodness, or it is hiding in my apartment? Perhaps.Fortunately, Scribd.com hosts the book in it’s entirety so I can read the end there.
Two passages to give you an idea of Roy’s brilliance and beauty are:
"A pale daymoon hung hugely in the sky and went where they went. As big as the belly of a beer-drinking man."
and my personal favorite:
"He walked on water. Perhaps. But could he have swum on land? In matching knickers and dark glasses? With his Fountain in a Love-in-Tokyo? In pointy shoes and a puff? Would he have had the imagination?"
The second passage is particularly interesting to me on a couple of different levels. First, on the idea of myth-making…a myth is only as strong as the imagination of the ones who create it and then the people who believe in it. As far as walking on water, well, that’s pretty easy with still water being a flat plane in relation to the horizon as is flat earth…not much stretch of the imagination there. Neither is turning water to wine…again, two similar ideas for the brain to line up… but swimming on land! What an image!!! What courage~
Secondly, as an artist I try and always think of the next step in my work, my life and the things that I can accomplish while I’m here. I honestly feel that the only way one can achieve great and amazing things is by first being able to envision those things and know they are within your reach. The stronger the imagination, the more extraordinary the possibilities.
*The God of Small Things (1997) is a politically charged novel by Indian author Arundhati Roy. It is a story about the childhood experiences of a pair of fraternal twins who become victims of circumstance. The book is a description of how the small things in life build up, translate into people’s behavior and affect their lives. The book won the Booker Prize in 1997.
Also of note this week. Check out Zetta Elliott’s blog for a review of Julius Lester’s GUARDIAN,
which turns into a conversation on writing, audience, and editing with a surprise visit by none other
than Mr. Lester himself!