Lavinia's Reviews > The Ground Beneath Her Feet

The Ground Beneath Her Feet by Salman Rushdie
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May 04, 15

really liked it
bookshelves: 2008, fiction, in-en
Read in October, 2008

oops! i did it again. i started it for the third time. and i'm determined to finish and like it [i intend the same thing with ulysses and foucault's pendulum - i'll see about the rest]. if only i could get over the first 100 pages. wish me luck. i can't believe i paid 43.8 RON in 2005 to get this book. well, this might be just another reason for reading it ;)

U2 feat. rushdie wrote a beautiful song based on the book


"The only people who see the whole picture are the ones who step out of the frame."

*i'm sort of happy i didn't read the book earlier, i just discovered some cinematographic referrals to fellini, bergman and godard i would have certainly skipped back then.

*i still fail to picture rushdie's art deco (?!) bombay. i can't separate india from malaria, cholera or typhoid.

*rai reminds me of nick carraway narrating gatsby's love story.


70's Bombay through a photographer's lenses:

"There was too much money, too much poverty, too much nakedness, too much disguise, too much anger, too much vermilion, too much purple. There were too many dashed hopes and narrowed minds. There was far, far too much light."

and a beautiful tribute to James Joyce ( Ulysses)

"The hanged man and I were alone for a long time. His feet swung not far from my revolted nose and yes I wondered about the heels of his boots yes when I got the ropes off I made myself approach him yes in spite of his pong like the end of the world and the biting insects yes and the rawness of my throat and my eyes sore from bulging as I puked I took hold of his heels one after other yes I twisted the left heel it came up empty but the right heel did the right thing the film just plopped down in my hand yes and I put an unused film in its place from my own boot yes and I could feel his body all perfume and my heart was going like mad and I made my escape with Piloo's fate and my own golden future in my hand yes and to hell with everything I said yes because it might just as well be me as another so yes I will yes I did yes."


i have the feeling that if i update my reading status more often, i'll finish the book sooner. i already imagine myself reading something light, kinsella or smth similar ;p

so far, i don't like vina's character. dunno why.


"After a tense initial period during which they sometimes see each other in the evenings, with painfully awkward results, they agree to meet only to rehearse with the other band members, to discuss their finances and to perform. They are never alone together any more, they never eat a meal or take in a movie in each other's company, never phone each other, never go dancing, never feed animals in the zoo, never touch. Like divorced couples, they avoid each other's gaze. Yet, mysteriously they continue to say they are both deeply, irreversibly, forever-and-a-day in love.

What can this mean?

It means they are with each other constantly even while they are apart."

No dear, it means that they're both stupid.
Stupid oath. Stupid Ormus for accepting Vina's eccentricities and caprices.


some final notes:
rushdie is indeed a skillful writer, and his use of language is absolutely beautiful. i liked the many references he made to literature, cinema and mythology, though at some point i was fed up with remarks about orpheus and eurydice.

speaking of the two mythological characters and the multiple connections between them and the larger-than-life characters of ormus and vina, i prefer mortals like rai.

i really don't get why rai and ormus would both worship the ground beneath vina's feet.

i'll reward myself with a whole box of chocolate for finishing this :d

oh, and one final thing: it was the last place where i thought i'd read about ceausescu and targu secuiesc [misspelled târgul-sačuesc] :)
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10/23/2008 page 80
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Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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Anca hm. nu inteleg de ce nu poti trece de primele 100 pag.; cartea-i f atracttive, not boring at all si are niste fraze rushdie 8->..

:) noh, succeees! si chiar is curioasa cum iti pare apoi.

Lavinia apropo de frazele lui rushdie, una in care wordul a numarat 223 de cuvinte!

Only when she lurched into the eleventh-floor corridor of the hotel, half dressed and confused, stumbling over the unclaimed newspapers, whose headlines about French nuclear tests in the pacific and political unrest in the southern province of Chiapas smudged the bare soles of her feet with their shrinking in, only then did she understand that the suite of rooms she had abandoned was her own, she had slammed the door and didn’t have the key, and it was lucky for her in that moment of vulnerability that the person she bumped into was me, Mr. Umeed Merchant, photographer, a.k.a. “Rai”, her so to speak chum ever since the old days in Bombay and the only shutterbug within one thousand and one miles who would not dream of photographing her in such delicious and scandalous disarray, her whole self momentarily out of focus and worst of all looking her age, the only image-stealer who would never have stolen from her that frayed and jaunted look, that bleary and unarguably bag-eyed helplessness, her tangled fountain of wiry dyed red hair quivering above her head in a woodpeckerish topknot, her lovely mouth trembling and uncertain, with the tiny fjords of the pitiless years deepening at the edges of her lips, the very archetype of the wild rock goddess halfway down the road to desolation and ruin.

compatimesc sincer traducatorii. nu numai pentru lungimea frazelor, dar si pentru stilul pretentios al lui rushdie.

de fapt am realizat ca niciodata nu trecusem de primul capitol 'the keeper of the bees', asa ca in loc de primele 100 de pagini as putea spune primele 30. ;p
dar oricum am depasit suta, i'm very much into it, merge incet dar sigur.

message 3: by Anca (last edited Oct 28, 2008 11:37AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Anca pt ca are alura de femme fatale, poate.
recunosc ca si pe mine ma irita uneori cind mi-o imaginam dind din solduri la faze. :D:D:D sint eu ridicola?

Lavinia deci pina la urma nu mi-a placut vina deloc deloc.
numai pentru rai am rezistat pina la sfirsit. :)

message 5: by Anirudh (new)

Anirudh "i still fail to picture rushdie's art deco (?!) bombay. i can't separate india from malaria, cholera or typhoid" - I'm sorry but which decade are you presumably living in? Having an opinion is one thing and having a deep rooted stereotype is another. It's like saying that I will forever associate Romania with men who are dictators and women who are ignorant, poor people hating wives. (I think you get the references) I am not suggesting that you are ignorant but merely pointing out that it is the burden of the prejudiced person to update/change their convictions with time. Of course, being an Indian, I realize there is extreme poverty in some areas, there is disease prevalent in slums; but isn't that the case in first world countries also? Every coutnry has their homeless, their poor and their diseased; if you can't see them then you are not looking properly. I apologize if this post appears to be an assault because it isn't. I am simply asking you to revisit your convictions. Cheers!

P.S - My "assault" notwithstanding, I like your reviewing style. :-)

message 6: by Anirudh (new)

Anirudh PPS - I forgot to add that the reason I find your convictions blatantly wrong and outdated is that India is standing at the cusp of becoming a world power. Focusing on issues that were prevalent in the 60s would do no good in the 21st century when we are miles ahead of other so called 'developed' countries in many facets of life. Including Medicine mind you...

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