THE GOD OF SMALL THINGS by Arundhati Roy (hier online bestellen)
Is her latest novel 'The God of Small Things' going to be censored ?
There has always been censorship in literature, but is it even practised today in democracies ?
J.D. Salinger, A. Miller or Mark Twain, they all had once suffered from their works being removed
from the library shelves.
Even today authors are affected. The latest example is taking place in India where Arundhati Roy
is even facing court trial. In her latest novel she describes passages of lovemaking between a
Christian businesswoman and an outcast Hindu handyman. Such a liaison is taboo in India where
the morality code emphasises the strictures against mixing below your caste. The lovemaking
scenes are the stumbling block for the Indian authorities.
Concerning the caste system in India:
A man is born into a jati (a division of a caste) and this is the only way of acquiring
membership. The hindu doctrine of karma teaches the young Hindu that he is born into
a particular subcaste because that is where he deserves to be born. His life is governed by principles
of pollution which rigidly enforce the separation of castes. If a Brahmin, for example, ate food cooked by
an untouchable, the resulting pollution would be thought to be so great that he would be thrown out of this caste.
Each caste is traditionally associated with a particular occupation.
Caste membership is linked to status: not only houses, but clothes, customs and manners become symbols of status for
those who share a common culture.
Shudras.................. servants and labourers
Harijan (untouchables)... the worst work, refused by others
Adapted from J Nobbs, Sociology in Context (Macmillan Education, 1983)
Extract from book:
May in Ayemenem is a hot, brooding month. The days are long and humid. The river shrinks and black crows
gorge on bright mangoes in still, dustgreen trees. Red bananas ripen. Jackfruits burst. Dissolute bluebottles
hum vacuously in the fruity air. Then they stun themselves against clear windowpanes and die, fatly baffled in
the sun. The nights are clear, but suffused with sloth and sullen expectation.
But by early June the southwest monsoon breaks and there are three months of wind and water with short
spells of sharp, glittering sunshine that thrilled children snatch to play with. The countryside turns an
immodest green. Boundaries blur as tapioca fences take root and bloom. Brick walls turn mossgreen. Pepper
vines snake up electric poles. Wild creepers burst through laterite banks and spill across the flooded roads.
Boats ply in the bazaars. And small fish appear in the puddles that fill the PWD potholes on the highways.
It was raining when Rahel came back to Ayemenem. Slanting silver ropes slammed into loose earth, plowing it up
like gunfire. The old house on the hill wore its steep, gabled roof pulled over its ears like a low hat. The
walls, streaked with moss, had grown soft, and bulged a little with dampness that seeped up from the ground.
The wild, overgrown garden was full of the whisper and scurry of small lives. In the undergrowth a rat snake
rubbed itself against a glistening stone. Hopeful yellow bullfrogs cruised the scummy pond for mates.
A drenched mongoose flashed across the leaf-strewn driveway.
The house itself looked empty. The doors and windows were locked. The front verandah bare. Unfurnished. But
the skyblue Plymouth with chrome tailfins was still parked outside, and inside, Baby Kochamma was still alive.
About the authoress:
Arundhati Roy about her childhood in Kerala:
A lot of the atmosphere in "God of Small Things" is based on my experiences of what it was like to grow up
in Kerala. Most interestingly, it was the only place in the world where religions coincide, there's
Christianity, Hinduism, Marxism and Islam and they all live together and rub each other down. When I
grew up it was the Marxism that was very strong, it was like the revolution was coming next week. I was
aware of the different cultures when I was growing up and I'm still aware of them now. When you see all
the competing beliefs against the same background you realise how they all wear each other down. To me,
I couldn't think of a better location for a book about human beings.
I think the kind of landscape that you grew up in, it lives in you. I don't think it's true of people
who've grown up in cities so much, you may love building but I don't think you can love it in the way that
you love a tree or a river or the colour of the earth, it's a different kind of love. I'm not a very well
read person but I don't imagine that that kind of gut love for the earth can be replaced by the open landscape.
It's a much cleverer person who grows up in the city, savvy and much smarter in many ways. If you spent your
very early childhood catching fish and just learning to be quiet, the landscape just seeps into you. Even now
I go back to Kerala and it makes me want to cry if something happens to that place.I grew up in very similar
circumstances to the children in the book. My mother was divorced. I lived on the edge of the community in a
very vulnerable fashion. Then when I was 16 I left home and lived on my own, sort of... you know it wasn't
awful, it was just sort of precarious... living in a squatter's colony in Delhi.
THE GOD OF SMALL THINGS by Arundhati Roy
Taschenbuch - 336 Seiten - Perennial
Erscheinungsdatum: Juni 1998
Preis: € 12,95
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