Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Picture courtesy:

18th Century hand painted porcelain tiles from Canton, on the floor of the Jewish synagogue in Cochin, Kerala.

These are referred to in Salman Rushdie's 'The Moor's Last Sigh'...

"Scene after blue scene passed before her eyes. There were tumultuous marketplaces and crenellated fortress-palaces and fields under cultivation and thieves in jail, there were high, toothy mountains and great fish in the sea. Pleasure gardens were laid out in blue, and blue-bloody battles were grimly fought; blue horsemen pranced beneath lamplit windows and blue-masked ladies swooned in arbours..."

An essay by Timothy Weiss "At the End of East/West: Myth in Rushdie's The Moor's Last Sigh" examines the novelist's 'cultural hybridity' and explores ideas about narrative and myth-making.
"The vignette of the Cantonese tiles is one among numerous tales in miniature that illustrate the creative, mythmaking process of the novel as a whole. 'In the end, stories are what's left of us, we are no more than the few tales that persist,' muses the dying Moor..."

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