Thursday, June 28, 2007
Saving Fish From Drowning by Amy Tan
The following is the epigraph at the beginning of Amy Tan's marvelous new novel, Saving Fish From Drowning:
A pious man explained to his followers: "It is evil to take lives and noble to save them. Each day I pledge to save a hundred lives. I drop my net in the lake and scoop out a hundred fishes. I place the fishes on the bank, where they flop and twirl. 'Don't be scared,' I tell those fishes. 'I am saving you from drowning.' Soon enough, the fishes grow calm and lie still. Yet, sad to say, I am always too late. The fishes expire. And because it is evil to waste anything, I take those dead fishes to market and I sell them for a good price. With the money I receive, I buy more nets so I can save more fishes." - Anonymous
Half the fun of the novel is figuring out how this quote relates to the plot. Hint: Think Buddha.