Asian studies in Lithuania
Original language: English
Translated from: English
Authors: Rushdie, Salman
Translated by: Žalytė, Danguolė
Full translated source bibliographical description:

Rushdie, Salman. The Ground Beneath Her Feet.  Jonathan Cape, 1999.

ISBN: 9955-08-261-5
Published in: Vilnius
Published on: 2003
Publisher: Alma littera

“The Ground Beneath Her Feet” is not ordinary novel where the main heroine, famous rock singer Vina Apsara, who has a voice like a goddess, tragically dies in the earthquake in the first chapter of the book. After that, the narrator of the story, photographer Umeed “Rai”, who is Vina’s childhood friend and lover, goes back into the past and starts telling the story in a chronological order. Anyway, sometimes he gives references about what will happen in the future.

Many storylines (most of them are tragic) overlap in the novel, but the main storyline focuses on Vina’s and great musician Ormus Kama’s fatalistic love story. Their love is described in this quote: “Whereas for Ormus Cama it was just a simple matter of life and death. Love was for life, and endured beyond death. Love was Vina, and beyond Vina there was nothing but the void.” The narrator also loved Vina since his childhood but eccentric and scandalous singer, who loved Ormus Cama till her death, belonged to no man. Vina, who was a tough woman because of many personal tragedies, constantly appeared and disappeared again in her loved men‘s lives and each time she painfully affected and changed them. When the narrator was secretly hoping that he finally managed to steal Vina from Ormus, the ground beneath her feet stole her from both of them.

The novel has many characters and their descriptions and stories are very wide and well developed. Even episodic characters are not forgotten, the author finds the right moment to tell how their lives have evolved. The storylines are masterly connected to each other and each of them affects the main storyline. Attention is also given to Bombay city, which plays an important role in the major characters’ lives.

The novel is rich in Greek and Hindu mythology. The author analyzes the myths, looks for parallels and compares characters to the gods. The most important is the allusion to Greek legend about Orpheus and Eurydice. The myth is about love, music and death, therefore it is compared with Vina’s and Ormus’ love story.

Salman Rushdie (born 1947 in Bombay, India) is a British Indian novelist and essayist. He became famous with his novel “Midnight\’s Children”. This novel won an important literary award, the Booker Prize. “The Ground Beneath Her Feet” is the penultimate author’s novel. It is called the alternative history of rock music. The Irish rock band “U2” took the lyrics from this book and recorded a song of the same name.

Initiators of the project: Japan foundation VDU