Haroun and the Sea of Stories

As for the Chupwalas, all of whom belonged to the Union of the Zipped Lips, and were the Cultmaster’s most devoted servants–well, Haroun kept being struck by how ordinary they were, and how monotonous was the work they had been given. There were hundreds of them in their Zipped Lips cloaks and hoods, attending to the tanks and cranes on the deck, performing a series of mindless, routine jobs: checking dials, tightening joints switching the tanks’ stirring mechanisms on and off again, swabbing the decks. It was all as boring as could be; and yet–as Haroun kept having to remind himself–what these scurrying, cloaked, weaselly, scrawny, snivelling clerical types were actually up to was nothing less than the destruction of the Ocean of the Streams of story itself! ‘How weird,’ Haroun said to Iff, ‘that the worst things of all can look so normal, and, well, dull.

~ Salman Rushdie, Haroun and the Sea of Stories


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