Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The God Of Small Things

Source of picture: phobus
"Perhaps it's true that things can change in a day. That a few dozen hours can affect the outcome of whole lifetimes. And that when they do, those few dozen hours, like the salvagted remains of a burned house - the charred clock, the singed photograph, the scorched furniture - must be resurrected from the ruins and eamined. Preserved. Accounted for. Little events, ordinary things, smashed and reconstrued. Imbued with new meaning. Suddenly they become the bleached bones of a story."
I am on a crusade to read every single book that has won the Man Booker Literary Award Prize since the event was created, starting with Roy's The God of Small Things. The book itself is quite tragic (a necessary element to win a Man Booker prize so it seems). But a beautiful sort of tragic nonetheless.

There's no surprise that I love books that explore love and the meaning of it. What can I say, I am a romantic at heart, in soul, and in body. One of the major underlying themes of the book is forbidden love and the disheartening consequences that can follow. The type of love that can't be felt, seen, or acknowledged openly, and the burden it has on those affected. Roy explores many of the different forms that it can inhibit - love between castes, interracial love, and in some taboo cases, incestuous love. What the author tries to accomplish is that love is a powerful, overwhelming and uncontrollable emotion, of which cannot be contained in the confines of an everyday rigid social structure. And in saying that, the forbidden nature of it leads to the sheer intensity of the many affairs portrayed.

I have a fondness for Indian literature and wish there was more of an emphasis on it when I took my Asian Studies course at university. There is an ability for these books to speak of poverty, struggle, and love so well. More importantly, I enjoy any literature that discusses love against a backdrop of cultural and social circumstances. For this, I recommend The God of Small Things  to those who feel the same.

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