Why do I have three different copies of Homi Bhabha’s essay “Culture’s In Between”, all photocopied from different books? Apparently I forgot that I’d gotten the essay immediately after procuring it each time. I realized what I’d done when I read Akhil Gupta’s critique of Benedict Anderson’s Imagined Communities, “Imagined Nations”, in A Companion to the Anthropology of Politics (2004). Gupta mentions Bhabha’s essay, so I thought I’d take a peek and subsequently discovered just how shaky my memory is. Oh well.
Anyway, Gupta’s essay also mentions Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children, a book I’d read when I was in high school. I didn’t understand it at all. I didn’t catch any of the stuff it was saying about nationalism, colonialism, and historical memory and instead mostly read it on the surface, as a story about a bunch of kids in India with supernatural powers. Dumb, huh?
(Why exactly was I reading Salman Rushdie? Well, at the time my family was living in an apartment building that had lots of university students. When someone moved out, it was kind of a tradition that they leave behind unwanted books in the laundry room, and hey presto, I had a new book to read.)
Well, Midnight’s Children is in the next room, so I can re-read it when I have a spare moment (namely, after I get my degree). It should be obvious from my blogging that I’ve mostly been consuming light fiction lately (e.g., comic books and the occasional episode of Battlestar Galactica), so Rushdie will have to wait. And as for improving my memory, I have EndNote now to keep me organized. Whee-ha, my life just keeps getting more exciting.