|There's Haroun, riding Butt the Hoopoe.|
There was once, in the country of Alifbay, a sad city, the saddest of cities, a city so ruinously sad that it had forgotten its name. It stood by a mournful sea full of glumfish, which were so miserable to eat that they made people belch with melancholy even though the skies were blue.Rushdie penned this allegorical novel about the energy of language, the transformative power of a son's love for his imperfect father, and the dangers of 'khattam shud' - in this context, silencing others - for his own son, from whom Rushdie was estranged while he was in hiding from death threats, including the fatwa pronounced by the Ayatollah Khomeini. Despite the dire circumstances, this novel is decidedly light-hearted (in the main) and full of the sort of humor both young boys and adults of all notions can enjoy. I've read it at least half a dozen times and return to it when I need a lightening of my reading heart, but with depth of soul.
On page 56, Haroun calls upon Iff, the Water Genie, to help restore the storyteller's gifts to his father: Rashid Khalifa, the Shah of Blah, the Ocean of Notions. It's a simple matter of plumbing, apparently: Rashid Khalifa maintains a subscription to the Sea of Stories whose magical streams course through pipes and into the bathtub, when all is well. But all is not well. Khalifa's wife, Haroun's mom Soraya, has left him for a less fanciful man, and he can no longer remember his stories. And so, the pipes won't run and Iff pops by to try to fix them:
"The Disconnector", the other pointed. "Hand it over, return to sender, restore to rightful owner: give up, yield, surrender."If you haven't yet read Haroun, you'll find it a lively summer read, and it's readily available just about everywhere.
Now Haroun noticed that the tool he held was no more like a monkey wrench than the blue-beard's head was like an onion: in other words, it had the general outline of a wrench, but it was somehow more fluid than solid, and was made up of thousands of little veins flowing with differently coloured liquids, all held together by some unbelievable, invisible force. It was beautiful.
Now why not relax at the end of a long week by sampling a few more "Book Beginnings" and 'Friday 56' peeks at your next great reads?
p.s. Don't forget: Poem In Your Post Blog Hop this (and every) weekend. Just post a poem and link up here to share the language-love!