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am 30. November 2015
Rushdie is a language sculptor. There does not seem to be anything that he can't do with words. Quite an interesting view of India's 20th century
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am 1. Oktober 2014
Habe mir das Buch in Cochin runtergeladen und muss sagen, dass der Ort durch die Lektüre ein ganz anderes Flair für mich bekommen hat.
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am 16. Juli 2000
In a careful and calculated manner, The Moor's Last Sigh leaps across four generations of a rich and demented Indian family, weaving an exquisitely-crafted tapestry of murder and suicide, atheism and asceticism, affection and adultery.
The first person narrator of this cynical yet mischievous book is Moraes Zogoiby, aka "Moor," who, seemingly unaffected by his asthma, spins his tale sitting atop a tombstone within sight of the Alhambra in Spain and pursued by a policeman named--like the holy city of Islam--Medina.
The centerpiece of this captivating and gorgeous novel is Moor's highly dysfunctional family, a Grand Guignol of good and evil, the deformations of the spirit wrought by love withered or love withheld and the beauty and violence of art, all representative of the tortured history of twentieth century India.
Moor, himself, is the champion of miscegenation and cultural melange, bastards and cross-breeds. Standing six and one-half feet tall, Moor has a withered right hand and, like India, he grows too fast, twice the rate of a normal human being. A thirty-six year old elderly man, still in love with a deceitful (and deceased) woman, Moor exhibits the body of a none-too-healthy seventy-two year old. His bloodline, too, is as crowded and diverse as India, herself.
Moor is the son of Abraham Zogoiby, a South Indian Jew who is probably the illegitimate descendant of Boabdil, the last Muslim Sultan of Granada and the celebrated artist, Aurora da Gama, a Christian claiming descent from the Portuguese navigator Vasco da Gama.
Abraham and Aurora's love first carries them to the dizzying, hyperbolic heights of fame and power, then plunges them into depths reminiscent of Lucifer's expulsion from Paradise. The blood of the Zogoiby family is indeed tainted--with murder, adultery and lies--and they, in turn, infect everyone they encounter.
A tragic figure, Moor nevertheless reveals a wickedly comic streak, as Rushdie combines high art with gaudy jags that refer to the pop cultures of India, America and Britain. Although most Rushdie readers are well-versed in multi-cultural sociology, even the most erudite may have to struggle with this book's obscure, inside jokes and satire.
Disorientation also can occur as Rushdie leaps across time zones, from present to recent past to near future to ancient history. These time shifts, however, play an integral role in explaining each of Moor's vignettes and relating their importance to the story as a whole.
Among the many dualities threading their way through The Moor's Last Sigh, is the one of good art versus bad. The book's title actually refers to two paintings entitled, The Moor's Last Sigh. One is painted by Aurora, the other by her one-time-admirer-turned-nemesis, Vasco Miranda. Aurora's work is a masterpiece, the last in a series of allegorical paintings in which her son serves as subject. It becomes the symbol that finally gives Moor the humanity he so desires. Miranda's, on the other hand, is a sentimental kitsch of Sultan Boabdil's final departure from Granada. Which one best typifies Moor? In a sense, both do.
The narrative, as can be expected from a Rushdie novel, is filmy but faultless: a magical mixture of fact and fable, fantasy and absurdity, comedy and tragedy. Despite its brilliant touches of comedy, the tone remains dark, solemn and sober. Peopled with a wide range of characters, even when parodic and allegorical, they retain their essential humanness.
In the end, Rushdie really does paint Moor as a prophet, though one whose messianic calling looks not to the arrival of God but of the better self in all of us, the reconciliation of our mongrel ethics and spirituality.
A timely and compelling novel full of contradictions and complexities, The Moor's Last Sigh begs the reader to look beyond its impeccably composed plot to the discordant richness that typifies postcolonial India today.
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am 9. Juli 1998
It seems all those years in hiding have paid off in making Rushdie a truly memorable writer. I felt that Midnight's Children was way over rated and although it had it's literary moments, there was too much borrowed material and images from more seasoned writers. I've read everything known to me that has been published by him, and the Moor's Last Sigh is definitely the most linear and coherent book yet, and is a great story with strong characters. One sees a side of India so little mentioned in history books or other literature and becomes aware of it's Jewish micro-minority and the influence Portuagese travelers had on the spice trade. It later moves from Cochin to Bombay, where Hindu fundamentalists and politicians run rampant. Moor is such a sympathetic character, who certainly must represent Rushdie, when held hostage in Granada. Though it's been months since I read it, the images are still alive in my head and it is a book which I may, one day, read again. Though Rushdie is not yet Gabriel Garcia Marquez, he's getting a little closer.
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am 19. Oktober 2001
Die Zogoibys/ da Gamas sind eine Familie mit großer Geschichte: ihre Vorfahren sind Portugiesen, Juden und Mauren, und zu letzteren gehört gar der letzte Fürst der Mauren, der 1492 aus Granada vertrieben wurde. Aurora, die Mutter des Protagonisten Moraes, malt davon, erzählt lange traurige Geschichten auf ihrer Leinwand. Dabei vernachlässigt sie ihre Familie, ihren jüdischen Mann Abraham, der zum Verbrecherfürsten avanciert, ihre drei Töchter und ihren Sohn Moraes, der Ich-Erzähler des Romans. Eine seltsame Krankheit sorgt dafür, daß Moraes doppelt so schnell wächst wie ein normaler Mensch, und mit dreißig sieht er bereits wie ein Sechzigjähriger aus. Sich daher und wegen seiner verrückten Künstlerfamilienverhältnisse höchst fremd fühlend, ist Moraes innerlich zerrissen und spiegelt damit nicht nur seine eigene Familie wider, sondern auch die Situation des Landes Indiens. Dort leben Juden, Araber, Portugiesen, Briten seit Jahrhunderten nebeneinander, und natürlich ist dieses Nebeneinander nicht frei von Konflikten.
Rushdie entwirft ein Panorama der jüngsten Geschichte Indiens - wie in Midnight's Children auch -, wagt sich jedoch zurück in tiefste Vergangenheit und zeigt die Parallelen auf zwischen Indiens Unabhängigkeit und Spaniens Eroberung der Alhambra...
Alles in allem ein erneuter Geniestreich des indischen Schriftstellers!
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am 11. Juli 2000
Mr. Rushdie is very emphatic through the novel about the wickedness off all its characters, and how the concept of morality and respect are somehow alien to all of them. However, it is very difficult to feel any kind of animosity towards those beings, or to internalize their anguish, because all their actions are simultaneously justified so you have the feeling that eventhough the events of the novel are dramatic, in the end actions do not matter, because those who suffer the consequences are not worthy of any pity.
I guess that the book also demands a great knowledge of Indian XX century history, particularly after its independence, in order to capture and enjoy the irony and sort of black humor that runs parallel with the Zogoisby's family saga.
Finally, it is advisable to read this book with a good English dictionary by your side, even your native language is English ,because the author will demand form the reader to be immersed in the story as well as its idiom.
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am 26. Mai 1999
A reader from Chicago wrote that he or she couldn't "put The Moor's last Sigh' down! From the moment I started this book, I was glued to it. I actively seek books by Salman Rushdie or other authors who have mastered the mix of history and fantasy."
In this case I can't stop myself recommending the acclaimed Harry Mulish, writer of The Discovery of Heaven and, his most recent book, The Procedure.
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am 13. Juni 2000
Opinion Rating: Your opinion Sighing...
by: beoram (Sat Dec 18 '99)
Pros: very well written, wonderful characters Cons: may be too complicated for some readers, especially those unfamiliar with India
'Moor' Zogoiby, the protagonist, is very reminescent of Salman Rushdie himself. Like Moor, Rushdie knows about a life spent in banishment from normal society--Rushdie because of the fatwa that followed The Satanic Verses, Moor because he ages at twice the rate of normal humans. Yet Moor's story of travail is bigger than Rushdie's; it encompasses a grand struggle between good and evil while Moor himself stands as allegory for Rushdie's home country of India. Filled with wordplay and ripe with humour, it is an epic work, and Rushdie has the tools to pull it off. Moor is only son of a wealthy, artistic Bombay family, finds himself at crisis point. After a tragic love affair, 'Moor' plunges into a life of depravity in Bombay before leaving for involvement in financial scandal in London and, in the end, violence in Spain involving a childhood friend. Rushdie has received some heavy criticism from Indian reviewers for not 'being true' to the image of India. However, one suspects Rushdie does not intend to give a journalistic account of India, or anything else for that matter, but rather to create a possible world, which resembles this one, in many important respects. Furthermore, this 'fantasy' world can be more meaningful for its having been simplified in some respects and complicated in others. Salman Rushdie revisits some of the same ground he covered in his greatest novel, Midnight's Children. He earned a 1995 Whitbread Prize for his efforts.
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Being not only a reader but believer in the supernatural, I found The Moor's Last Sigh to be an extraordinary lesson in the power of the sublime. Rushdie's masterful manipulation of the English language is so amazingly poetic and unparalleled that it was hard to stray from its magical grasp. He is a master of metaphor and colour capable of carrying the reader into active participation in the dream. If you have read previous Rushdie novels, Arundhati Roy, Carlos Casteneda, Ana Castillo, etc... read this. The heart of Moraes Zogoiby is one of a tormented child X 2. The world surrounding the Moor is one of hatred, envy, madness, and betrayal. The Moor reminds me of Dr. Frankenstein's creation who is gentle and intelligent, spurned from society due to his double deformity, and capable of loving but driven by those around him into a life of predicaments and turns beyond his control. This is no doubt an inspirational novel of triumph over life's undue cruelties. Remember your compassion. God bless the Moor.
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am 27. Januar 2000
Even if you only read the first chapter I think you can grasp half of what it is to read Salman Rushdie. His artistic and compelling prose... the story aside is quite compelling even if you never finish the book. I did finish the book and admittedly I am fairly new to Rushdie and have little overall critical sense of his work (possibly a good thing) but I have many good things to say about this particular book. But the most interesting thing I can say is that it messes with your mind. I have yet to grasp the full meaning of Rushdie's intentions but I actually found myself overwhelmed by the books closing chapters. Arranged as a folk story type historical myth the book contains a sense of destiny and propriety. I was always expecting the narrator Moraes Zogoiby (Moor) to reach his fulfillment in some greater plot somehow tying up his uncanny double-speed rate of growth. But in the end the book apparently closing not happy but satisfying and destined ending becomes a bloodfilled tragedy. The scale of which is startling. It is this seeming transformation that I find most striking and hence positive in the book. In my opinion anyway... you are welcome to disagreeafy with me.
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