Michael: Suleri’s connection of broken bodies to lost time and her earlier recollection of her mother’s death therefore complement each other. Suleri thinks almost immediately of the extra hours, by virtue of different time zones, she had “to savor.” Although her mother died at the same hour around the globe, Suleri looks to units of time as consolation; the additional hours, it seems, mitigated nightfall.

Marguerite: Just as she constructs her autobiography out of raw, tender parcels of memory, so she constructs her mother out of these cold pieces of meat. In both cases the end result cannot be smoothly connected, but will remain a jumble. In both cases, however, Suleri holds on to the tiny bits that are important: just as she holds her mother’s foot bone under her tongue, she keeps the little important pieces of her life for later showing a fractured version of the whole.

Susie: In Meatless Days, Sara Suleri questions, “Do I grieve or do I celebrate” as her days, even her hours, swerve from “severity into celebration.” Whereas Dillard reconciles cruelty and beauty, marrying natures’ grotesques and gifts to conceive clarity in sight, Suleri disembodies history and women, breaking bones and letting herself be, like “teaching fingers how to work, to knit” (186). Her words “like a brightness” shone into the night, Suleri saves daylight, not wishing to recall the spirits of her mother or sister, Ifat, or other pasts, but heeding Ruskin’s warning — “the spirit of the dead workman cannot be summoned up” — and writes to celebrate mourning’s drift into the milky twilight of memory.


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Last modified 21 April 2011