Thursday, April 10, 2008

Kiran Desai - The Inheritance of Loss

I seem to constantly find myself reading post-colonial works. Without any intention of doing so, I have mysteriously made myself a scholar of post-colonialism in all my classes, almost to the exclusion of everything else. Whether this is because of the topic's importance and frequency or just a fluke of my specific professors' choices I cannot say. Either way, this book fits solidly within this category. However, I'm basically going to note only interesting phrases and ideas here because frankly, I'm about to write an essay about this book and I just don't have to time to give it a thorough assessment here.
"viewed, in their free, self-righteous, modern love, the unfree and ancient bars, behind which lived a red panda, ridiculously solemn for being such a madly beautiful thing, chewing his bamboo leaves as carefully as a bank clerk doing numbers" (Desai 141).
"Since her romance with Gyan, she had a new understanding of cats. Uncaring of the troubles in the market, Mustafa was wringing forth ecstasies, pushing against her ribs to find a bone to ribble his chin against [...] Mustafa's bones seemed to be dissolving under Sai's stroking, and he twirled on her kjnees in a trance, eyes closed, a mystic knowing neither one religion nor another, neither one country nor another, just this " (Desai 128).
"She prided herself on being able to take anything -- Anything but gentleness" (Desai 120).
"When he looked about he saw he was not in charge: mold in his toothbrush, snakes slitering unafraid right over the patio, furniture gaining weight" (Desai 110).
"Mutt began to do what she always did when she met strangers: she turned a furiously wagging bottom to the intruders and looked around from behind, smiling, conveying both shyness and hope. Hating to see her degrade herself thus, the judge reached for her, whereupon she buried her nose in his arms" (Desai 4).
"the judge ate the lovely brown puddle and gradually his face took on an expression of grudging pudding contentment" (Desai 3,4)
“He looked, then, at the sugar in the pot: dirty, micalike glinting granules. The biscuits looked like cardboard and there were dark finger marks on the white of the saucers. Never ever was the tea served the way it should be, but he demanded at least a cake or scones, macaroons or cheese straws. Something sweet and something salty. This was a travesty and it undid the very concept of teatime” (Desai 3).
“No human had ever seen an adult giant squid alive, and though they had eyes as big as apples to scope the dark of the ocean, theirs was a solitude so profound they might never encounter another of their tribe. The melancholy of this situation washed over Sai” (Desai 2).
"'Dreadful legs those English girls have,' said Uncle Potty, who had been present at the altercation. 'Big pasty things. Good thing they've started wearing pants now'" (Desai 46).
“Boots cucumber lotion and Marks and Spencer underwear – the essence, quintessence, of Englishness as she understood it. Surely the queen donned this superior hosiery: She was solid/It was solid. She was plain/It was plain. She was strong/It was strong. She was no-nonsense./It was no-nonsense. They prevailed” (Desai 47).

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