Thursday, December 15, 2011

Not Knowing

Completed my dash through Doyle's Booker Prize winner this morning. What stood out for me on this reading is the degree to which the novel is concerned with how much we don't know about what's going on around us, especially, though not exclusively, as far as children are concerned. Paddy's world is a poorly constructed patchwork of silly stories, legends - those that children so fruitfully generate, misunderstandings and downright untruths, often comically so. But since we generally only know what we know through him, we're not in much of a better position.

An odd comparison struck me just now. The narrative voice in Ray's The God of Small Things trades in a kind of knowingness, yet equally strongly conjures the essential anxiety that is the centre of childhood. The novels really couldn't be much more different in this regard, and yet are so alike.

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