Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Life of Pi

Recently I read a nice book 'Life of Pi'. It won Man Bookers Award few years back and since then I wanted to read it full after reading the reviews, as they say its a book about faith. And also because it starts from the place I love, Pondicherry. The writing style is called magical realism.
As per Wikipedia, in literature, Magic Realism often combines the external factors of human existence with the internal ones: it is a fusion between scientific physical reality and psychological human reality; it incorporates aspects of human existence such as thoughts, emotions, dreams, cultural mythologies and imagination. Thus it can be more exact in depicting human reality. Nonetheless, a certain person's or group's perception of reality may differ from another's: to the insider, a given magical-realist text can be a relatively accurate depiction of his reality; the same text, however, may appear rather unreal to the outsider, whose perception of reality may differ greatly from the insider's. Despite this, the reader (often the outsider) can bridge the gap by momentarily suppressing his perception of reality and adopting the reality presented in the text. This, in turn, equips the reader with the necessary tools required to decode the text. This can be described as the 'evolved duties' of the reader.
In the twentieth century, the ideal of homogenisation caused societal dissonances within the world's communities and social groups and between them and led to the blood-stained history of the twentieth century. In the aftermath of conflict, some have tried to assimilate history in order to aid the healing process of a particular community or social group and to re-define their identity. In literature, this manifested itself as Magic Realism, a dissident and dialectical discourse strategy which can provide a more accurate representation of human reality as a whole. Indeed, Magic Realism can also be seen as the story of the 'other'.
I did like the book especially its humour and the way it has different layers. It is a story of a guy who is left with a tiger after a shipwreck, which kills his entire family. One of my favourite take on it was where the author talks of his love for both, people who believe in religion vs. those who instead believe in science. For, both kind go as far as their respective fields of knowledge take, AND THEN 'BOTH MAKE A LEAP OF FAITH'. He has uncomfortable feeling regarding agnostic, for you can't live your entire life with doubts. Wow! it makes a lot of sense.

Today, I got a different perspective on this book. Some one used the book as a metaphor about living in an abusive relationship. About what all humans sometimes do to avoid being lonely.... like living with someone dangerous, violent, a tiger! and being attached to him.
Hey that makes sense too!!

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