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Archives > 2. Borges poem. See question inside

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message 1: by Jen (new)

Jen | 1608 comments Mod
The Inheritance of Loss is preceded by a poem by Jorge Luis Borges. Given what you know of Borges, why do you think Kiran Desai chose his work as an epigraph? Who are “the ambitious...the loftily covetous multitude”? Why are they “worthy of tomorrow”? Who is “I”?

message 2: by Book (new)

Book Wormy | 1801 comments Mod
I am really not sure but in the context of the book I would say the multitude if the English foreigners who coveted what India had, who came and took over the country and then left it in chaos.

message 3: by John (new)

John Seymour I'm not sure either, but I don't think "the loftily covetous multitude" are English, or at least not just English. They are the Indian (and other) restaurant owners who exploit illegal immigrants, confident in the impunity granted by their victims fear of the authorities. They are, perhaps, all those who seek wealth and power through exploitation.

message 4: by Pip (new)

Pip | 1283 comments I thought it was referring more generally to consumerism, the rise of cities and what we loosely call Westernisation. I thought the "I" of the poem was a kind of everyman, who has experienced both "the West" and his homeland. In the context of the book, I think that the poem draws attention to those who have left one culture to live in another, and then return to find that they are misplaced in their home culture.

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