To see the world from the point of view
Of a tree, or insect, or even a boob,
It’s quite remarkable how fiction can give
The widest of views, the insight we need
To understand others, the rest of the world
And perhaps this could save the Earth that we know.
I don’t think I’ve read a book that is from the point of view of anything interesting, or weird, or wacky – until now. I finally got round to reading The Breast by Philip Roth, and oh my god, what a mind bending book it proved to be.
It is only a slim book so I read it in two sittings, but I took that break in the middle to process what I had just read in the first half. I can’t believe that it was written in the 1970’s and I do wonder how it might have been received back then.
The premise is that the protagonist, a male English professor, wakes up one morning to find that he has become a female breast. The book is about him coming to terms with what this means.You could look at it through all sorts of lenses and argue that it is an extended metaphor examining anything from being a woman, reputation, disability, loneliness and friendship and love.
I think I’m now going to have to go out and read some of the other famous books that are written from the perspective of someone or something interesting – I’m thinking The Metamorphosis by Kafka or Nutshell by Ian McEwan.
Any suggestions will be gratefully received. Happy reading, guys!