Time for a second go-round for this one as a group has chosen it and it’s certainly good enough. I don’t believe I rated it last time but I think it might have been in the range of 8.75 or something. I think I didn’t quite understand parts of it. I enjoy second readings – when I’ve got get the suspense and plot line out of the way and can look at the rest of it – how it makes sense and the use of the so-called literary qualities. I read it first back in September, 2015 – See -the blog review: and I read and listened that time, too.
Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights
by Salman Rushdie
2015 / 304 pages
read by Robert G. Slade 11h 26m
rating – / literary fantasy
(read and listened x2)
One thing which strikes me, again and afresh, is Rushdie’s incredible imagination and sharp humor – I think that’s why I love some of his books more than others. I read and smile and read and smile. I take a few notes (these are them) and listen and read and read and listen – a joy – but only certain books really hold up to second readings so I don’t bother with most – and I know I miss some books.
One thing I missed with Rushdie’s book was the overall storyline – I got caught up in the trees and missed the forest. The trees are great and I enjoyed the ride, but … And missing that of course I thought it was a bit too fantastical – ha! This time it was just right.
Also “just right” is Robert G. Slade, the narrator – perfecto.
The overall story is Dunia’s and how she mobilized her children to fight the evil forces of Peristan which were also unleashed when the worlds split.
There’s also some nice satire in it – see Chapter 5 and elsewhere – Elsewhere on racism (otherness) and religion especially – not a biggie although perhaps the ultimate biggie.
The chapters are very different from each other in terms of time and place as well as characters –
1ST CHAPTER SETTING: – the setting of the narrator is a thousand years in the future – he is telling all of it from his own vantage point to some listeners who are apparently there with him – or to us – from that distance in time. The narrator tells his audience about “our ancestors” and things like that – this is very old history for him.
Chapter 1 is set maybe 1192 or 1195 or so (“…three hundred years later when the Jews were expelled from Spain…”)
CHARACTERS IN ORDER OF APPEARANCE:
** Dunia – a female jinn, Rushd’s lover -escaped from Peristan – fairyland – has many children – by Rushd or by others – *without earlobes* – at some point she slips back into Peristan
**** NEW SETTING in Chapter 2 – the near future in New York City after a seriously monster storm –
CHARACTERS from Chapter 2 on:
(the names are often indicative of character)
** Narrator – Here the narrator comes into his own – he’s a 1st person story-teller who explains things like “This is how it has come down to us a millennium later, as history infused by legend.” …
Mr. Geronimo, (originally Raphael Hieronymus Manezez) is a 60-something man who was caught in the storm and now has no electrical power and little water. He also now has extra-human abilities plus strange ailments – son of a Catholic preacher in India, nephew of a NY architect, he himself is a gardener by trade. He *lacks earlobes.* lol (yes)
He drives through the shambles of the city to the Long Island estate of La Incoerenza -where he works.
Miss Alexandra Bliss Fariña – “The Lady Philosopher” sees Geronimo at her estate after the storm. (Daughter of Sanford Bliss – below) Complete pessimist –
Uncle Charles Duniza -(D’Niza – like Geronimo’s father) – gay, architect, takes Geronimo in for awhile.
Bento V. Elfenbein – flamboyant real estate developer – friend of Charles – very smart and funny – philosopher of sorts – (chapter Mr. Geronimo) – mentions Averroës, Spinoza, Veblen – builds – (And what kind of name is Elfenbein? – Irish/German?)
Ella Elfenbein – daughter of Bento, girlfriend of Geronimo – very optimistic person –
Sanford Bliss – the owner of La Incoerenza – (“the incoherence” in Italian reminding him that “…reality is not an absolute, but something that men made up, and that values changed to, according to who was doing the valuing.”
Oliver Oldcastle – Alexandra’s manager. Bible lover who hates the Church.
Ghazali of Tus – Rushd’s opponent – Ghazali won the history –
Natraj Hero the creation of Jimmy Kapoor but he comes alive in appearance- a giant Ifrit –
Jimmy Kapoor – teenage graphic artist from Queens – finds wormhole
Mrs Kapoor – Jimmy’s mother who has lupis and keeps animals
Normal Kapoor – Jimmy’s cousin who owns a tax accountancy firm
Baby Storm – 4 months old when deposited at mayor’s office – corruption detector
Rosa Fast – mayor elected on clean-up campaign – uses Baby Storm
Hugo Casterbridge – British composer and author – scandal in background
Seth Oldville – big money and perennial presidential candidate- friend of Elfenbein,
Teresa Saca – Oldville’s wife who kills him – she is a jinni
Giacomo Donizetti – Italian man who is changed by storm and Geronimo
Blue Yasmeen – Geronimo’s neighbor –
Zumurrud Shah – Ghazali’s jinni – first through the wormhole
Zabardast – an evil jinni in Peristan – also angry with humans
Shining Ruby – friend of Zumurrud – enters the body of “Mac” Aroni
Raim Blood Drinker – another jinn ally –
Mac Aroni – friend of Seth Oldville –
Omar the Ayar – spy of the royal household in Simurgh – Peristan
King Shahpal – Dunia’s father – she is Sky Princess –
Mr. Airagaira – the protagonist of a story in the Chinese Box
Big 4 (again – major Grand Jinn –
a, Zumurrud Shah – Ghazali’s jinni – first through the wormhole
b. Zabardast – an evil jinni in Peristan – also angry with humans
c, Shining Ruby – friend of Zumurrud – enters the body of “Mac” Aroni
d. Raim Blood Drinker – another jinn ally –
CHAPTER SUMMARIES –
Chapters – 1 The Children of Ibn Rushd
Overview of Rushd and the magic story of the jins from Dunai on – the story of Rushd and his rivals – especially the Persian, Ghazali of Tus who attacked Aristotle etc. Ghazali was opposed to philosophy – God is all everything.
Chapter 2 – Geronimo – (contemporary times)
Geronimo wakes to find some serious storm damage and that he can walk on air. Goes back to the story of Geronimo’s life as told by the Narrator – in Bombay with parents and then in NY with Uncle Charles and a job. In NY Geronimo meets Elfenbein and falls in love with Ella, Elfenbein’s daughter.
Uncle Charles and Geronimo go to Mumbai where they meet Geronimo’s father, Fr Jerry D’Niza – a Bible pounding Catholic priest, who explains their heritage – lobeless, Christian, India, Jewish, Muslim and Jinns – a bit of everything it would seem – godly and godless – “patchwork types.” wandering the world acquiring synthetic identities. We get a little philosophy lesson from Fr. Jerry down to Veblen, Spinoza, Bosch, etc.
They eat Chinese food while discussing various religious/cultural influences on their lives and Geronimo goes home to add some Native American (his name) and Japanese gardening – Ryonosuke Shimura – to his repartoir.
[Veblen did say “an alien of uneasy feet” – about Jews – in “The Intellectual Preeminence of Jews in Modern Europe,” The whole thing is available at Google Books:]
Returning to New York, Geronimo marries Ella Elfenstein (poor) while Charles and Jerry die abroad. Geronimo is hired to care for La Incoerenza now owned by Alexandra Bliss Fariña a 20-year old orphan billionaire because her father died. Then Ella is struck by lightning – like her father – and she dies. Is this all coincidence or is Geronimo cursed by fate and numbers – by gods and the godless? – the pessimist lives and the optimist dies. Geronimo is alone.
But on the day of the storm he realizes that his ability to walk on air (or hover) may be the other side – the blessing of lightning, the gods, the numbers.
The day after the storm Alexander sees him from her window (see opening) and notes that he is standing above the ground – “a miracle!” They make love – with him hovering above the her or the bed. Oldcastle is outraged –
The chapter ends with the Narrator advising his audience – about 1000 in the future.
Chapter 3 – The Incoherence of the Philosophers –
Setting – 101 days after the NY storm – in the tombs of Cordoba and Tus – (Rushd and
Ghazali) – this is possible because of the storm’s effects –
The phantom of Dunia returns to Rushd’s tomb. She tells him he is indeed dead – she is obviously from the spirit world, a female jinn, a jinnia. She is angry at him for leaving her –
The dispute continues because Ghazali’s old jinni has found him.
And the narrator explains the jinn and Dunia’s difference. – She can love, she loves love.
She will help Rushd to reunite their scattered fafmily and help it fight the coming world cataclysm. This is her mission – but other jinns have other missions –
Chapter 4 – The Strangenesses
Setting – 101 days after the NY storm – in Queens
A. Natraj Hero is the creation of Jimmy Kapoor, a teenage graphic artist from Queens. Hero has superpowers – he is really the Creator and Destroyer of the Universe – aka Dil-ka-Shehzada. He dances. Unfortunately Jimmy is still working in his cousin’s tax office doing the Hero episodes which do not gain the popularity of his rivals.
Natraj visits Jimmy in his bedroom – 101 days after the storm. Natraj tells Jimmy what’s happening – the portals are open and the fantasy creatures can come through. The world is shape-shifting and they’re coming.
Jimmy discovered the wormhole and everything changes in “those last days of the old world” just prior to the “strangenesses”
On Halloween the images on his wall got bigger and a hole showed up in his wall. He pokes his arm in and space and time disappear – a Glamazon pushes him back into his room – a kind of jinn – it’s Dunia and she explains (and so does the narrator). Dunia wants to have her children back and she’s going after them now.
B. A baby girl is found in the office of the new Mayor Rosa Fast – wrapped in a flag of India – Storm Doe – this was about 101 days after the storm – and a 4 month old child. Baby Storm can identify corruption – Fast makes good on promise to clean up City Hall and then adopts the baby.
C. – Hugo Casterbridge – a British composer – rich after his wife’s lover gave him 1 million pounds to disappear – he came up with term “strangenesses.” – no earlobes – with new Atheism and an angry God who wants to destroy humans. –
D. Strangeness breeds “racism” against South East Asians and “lightning strike survivors”. But nobody looks for folks with strange ears.
E. Seth Oldville, friend of Elfenbein, perennial presidential candidate – atheist Jew – now involved with Teresa Saca – he leaves wife for Teresa – Saca has her own money, lonely – they break up and Geronimo is mowing the lawn.
Oldville dies the night of the storm from Saca’s lighting bolts? That’s Cindy’s testimony. But other lightning survivors seem to survive other things too –
Narrator: “If a boy rubbing a lamp had summoned a genie to do his bidding, that would have bene a credible event in the new world our ancestors had begun to inhabit.” The jinn had entered the world and to the jinn, humans were not “real” any more than the jinn were real to humans. Now they were. Dunia is gathering her children – Teresa Saca, Jinendra Kapoor, Baby Storm, Hugo Casterbridge and others. (and Gogol’s The Nose is alluded to. lol )
F. Giacomo Donizetti – Venice Italy – rake, restauranteur and man-about-tow. Mom a Black Jew/father Italian Catholic – married in India by Mirra Alfassa – 1971. Donizetti is a ladies’ man – he has a touch until – in the bath (and the Narrator gives us a lot of superstitions dealing with jinn) – he is no longer attractive to women but falls hopelessly in love with them. – He has a moment of clarity – drives home, crashes into Geronimo – sees him walking on air.
G- One year after the storm Geronimo doesn’t think of it as serious, it’s an ailment and temporary. The meanings of words like “possible” and “impossible” are changing. Geronimo studies up on it. He tries to fly. He experiments and discovers he is a seriously sick man. He is no longer himself – he’s changing in some fundamental way. Other stories of strange events and people – freaks his landlady out – too many “foreign” or “evil” things happening – the devil. – Geronimo –
H. Blue Yasmeen – another tenant in Geronimo’s building – daughter of a lit professor. She likes Geronimo and tells landlady stories like those of Bagdad – she tells landlady that Geronimo was a story – need to find out how he turns out. Yasmeen tells great stories – a star of stories with morals – like Shahrazad. Her stories are fictional but all stories are fictional. There are story parasites, too. And humans are very susceptible victims- Then Dunia appears looking for Geronimo.
I. JImmy wants his family to move before it’s too late because “he” will return – and the monster did show up and he ran home to find it on fire, his mother burned but alive. Smokeless fire – and everyone saw the giant jinni – Zumurrud Shah – grandest of the Grand Ifrits – astride his flying urn – the “…beginning of the so-called War.”
CHAPTER 5 – Zumurrud the Great and His Three Companions
Zumurrud Shah – found in a bottle by Ghazali and has to repay later so he is Ghazali’s personsal jinni. Zuurrud’s story –
Ra’im Blood-Drinker and Shining Ruby are his friends. in Hamzanama series of paintings
Ghazali wants nothing now for finding Zumurrud – Zumurrud doesn’t understand “nothing.” *** the invention of zero? **
When Ghazali calls Zamurrud Ghazali is already dead but awoken by the new split. Zamurrud has an old grudge to settle with humans – Ghazali tells him to “Instill fear… Only fear will move sinful Man towards God. Fear is a part of God, in the sense that it is that feeble creature’s appropriate response to the infinite power and punitive nature of the Almighty.”
President of US is out of his league on fighting the monsters which come
Shining Ruby enters the body of Daniel “Mac” Aroni the financier – he dies
Narrator satire on state of economic sector in US – but when Mac opens up it’s over and the forces of the US are in place.
Zabardast – a wizard with a specialty in levitation/flight – rich – spreads fear by poltergeist activity – releases snakes and worms
Chaos and panic break out in the city – the jinnis fight and fight creating chaos until they get tired. They argue about who did more. Competition – they start throwing comets and so on at each other. Jinn kill jinn. – He says he has planted a seed with a gardener of destruction – Geronimo?
>> Brief interlude between Rushd and Ghazali – reason vs unreasonableness –
Zumarrud talks to Ghazali –
CHAPTER 6 – Dunia in Love, Again
A. Dunia sees Geronimo – Zumarrud has entered him – Dunia sees Rushd in Geronimo and appears to him as Ella, his deceased wife. They are falling in love with reincarnations, with copies of each other’s loss – and they know it. And Geronimo knows the world is insane and in chaos. And he comes a bit unglued – / ” The sea of love where everything is true if you said so … if the enchantress whispered it in his ear..”
Love is eternal –
Dunia tells Geronimo about Qaf – Shahpal, Aasmaan Peri – she brings Geronimo back to earth – no more levitation – and the war is coming to him – he is a great power.
B. Oldcastle hears a scream and finds her – they are both
levitating – he’s pissed.
C. Narrator – separation plague – humans from the earth but also writers from subjects, causes from effects, words and meanings, rich from poor, divorces, separation plague.
Magritte – Golconda – “They rise!” –
D. Ghazali/Rushd discuss it – Rushd is jealous?
E. Sister Albee – (Geronimo’s landlady) levitating and angry – Blue Yasmeen is levitating – levitating is regarded as an illness.
They go after Geronimo with a gun and find him standing on the floor. He’s healed but spreads the disease – fear, blind, stronger than ethics, etc.
F. Casterbridge in London – the atheist who believes in divine retribution – a crowd gathers – new preacher – Yusuf Ifrit – preaches against the plague – especially music – Casterbridge is harassed, seen with a woman, a storm – the crowd disperses, the attic is checked.
G. More mayhem – Dunia flies and observes. she loves these people. Apparently she had visited Casterbridge –
H. Dunia talks Geronimo into going to Peristan. Oldcastle and Alexandra go to find Geronimo – but a great light floods outward as Dunia and Geronimo go to Peristan in a great show of light.
Geronimo as a child sees boys and mother and Father Jerry and he cries – wished he had never become detached from where he was born – not being an immigrant. But then no wife. Does not like it. Transported to Qaf –
** He wanted to re-create the real world around himself, even if the real world was an illusion and this continuum of he irrational was the truth, he wanted the fiction of the real back. **
Dunia doesn’t understand – they quarrel as real identities. Then they find out that the king has been poisoned – verbal poison. Dunia weeps, turns to Geronimo, – Chinese box is there – Dunia says to open it.
Chapter 7 – Within the Chinese Box
Boxes within boxes and outermost layer might be skin – the box contains stories – told by a voice. The stories are to be told to the king who is dead – they might have killed him.
A. A coup against a government occurs and Mr. Airagaira is fired and a machine takes the place of all jobs – it produces the future and glory. Airagaira questions it and is sent flying.
B. The box moves and a curse is indicated- Dunia has to find the cause of the curse – A man named John lived in a silent country – he has a horrid voice when a few drinks. his son orders him to to be silent. After that everyone was quiet – and life was better. But the schoolteacher said hat speechlessness is the disease – not speech – those who chose may speak. The folks were unable to speak. Angry – (like Casterbridge and the Ifrit preacher per Omar)
Dunia responds to the stories differently. As does Geronimo – but they are in love and he has to go home where he belongs.
We could not be who we are had these two not fallen back to earth.
The box keeps telling stories but never concludes – just digresses – Dunia and Omar land on the floor in convulsions while Geronimo throws the box far away.
They go to the king and try to revive him – he has heard the quarrel between Ghazali and Rushd – it cracked the earth – they run to him and Dunia screams the cure but it’s too late.
Dunia is now queen and she eliminates Ella who has reappeared as a ghost. She leaves Rushd’s memory and becomes ready to do battle.
Chapter 8 – In Which the Tide Begins to Turn –
Narrator – filling in blanks and developing ideas – a bit more about Dunia, pre-history, how her descendants fit in. Geronimo learns language of unknown powers – time.
But Dunia wants to annihilate her father’s killers.
Geronimo wants to go home but Dunia needs him in Peristan – he realizes the size of the universe – 10 dimensions.
They go to a meeting where Dunia calls on the females to stop having sex with the dark jinns. Damage to male ego – rage and assaults – human males chose to die. Dark jinns like Shining Ruby etc. blasted the earth and the humans suffered. They return to earth and go after Jimmy Kapoor and Teresa Saca
A. Teresa Saca – has been living off stolen stuff. Living by her wits. She is a jinni and shoots lightning – finally her mother speaks to her from the bottom of a tequila bottle.
She’s told to kill – not people but “bigger game.”
B. Geronimo finds himself at his apartment (The Bagdad) – there are bad guys there but voila – he has super-powers – slowing time and strength – turning his attackers into carrots. Restoration of sanity was not going to be as easy as he thought. He’s now really angry. And he who was once Patient Zero is now a part of the cure.
Goes to La Incoerenza to breathe in fresh life- instantly. Alexandra is alive and changing her attitude – she and Oldcastle had cash and except for robberies were safe with food and supplies – cash works. Sadness – but Geronimo appears, saves them and leaves.
C. – Once upon a time – country A was wonderful – king got sick, chaos ruled, neighbors invaded, lost but left the country in the hands of the Swots who outlawed everything good. Zumurrud bought it. And they brought in Greed and Fear which divided everyone up. Blood-Drinker asked about religion and wanted to ban it. That split this group up –
Zabarast hates religion – there is no God. On the other hand, Zumurrud says to fear God – he’s changed. And then Ghazali pipes up – “When the language insists we can only follow.” Ghazali says God is in another time – past, present, future – no beginning – no end. He just “IS.” and “Bad language can blow up in your face.” “Wrong words are not to be tolerated.” Ghazali sends them out to teach the mortals. Zumurrud is on his way.
D. Dunia says goodbye to Rushd. She tells him about the war – then she leaves.
E. Jimmy K is living at his cousin’s – his mother has died and he’s changed into a superhero. He experiments a bit – Dunia comes to see him and tells him which bad guys to kill. Bad guys can be invisible but because he can make solid objects into colors, etc, now he turned colors etc. visible – and the results are works of art for humanity. The beauty of the gorgons (lower jinn)
F. Zumurrud the Great – but his co-Grand Ifrits object. So he went on a international decapitation spree. Then he turned to governing – providing and eliminating – hates containers. And now he wants to preside over the extinction of the human race.
G – but this worries Ghazali – this is not “scholarly theory” anymore – it’s going too far. Zumurrud sends Ghazali back to the grave.
H. Zabarast wants the country cut up into 4ths – East, West, Africa and South America. They do it but are not happy – Zabarast wants the whole world. They argue – proxy wars – Each wants to be the grandest of the grand – – like human failings.
Women were for men’s use but Queen Dunia steps in with her soldier, Teresa Saca.
I. Saca heard Dunia say she was Saca’s mother – In Saca’s opinion she was to be Dunia’s avenging angel. Her “inner warrior” was set free. Dunia sent locations and Saca sets off – and she kills a lot.
J. Geronimo is too old to be a soldier. What chance against the dark jinn – all 4 and their minions? – Can we do it without finding the inner darkness within ourselves. His job was to adjust the faults of gravity. So off he goes saving folks – Somoe folks crushed and others flying off into the sky. He stays with Alexandra- falls in love. Dunia is chasing the big 4 – Oliver Oldcastle stands watch – grateful –
How treacherous history is! Half-truths, ignorance, deceptions, false trails, errors, and lies, and buried somewhere in between all of that, the truth, in which it is easy to lose faith, of which it is consequently easy to say, it’s a chimera, there’s no such thing, everything is relative, one man’s absolute belief is another man’s fairy tale; but about which we insist, we insist most emphatically, that it is too important an idea to give up to the relativity merchants. Truth exists, and Toddler Storm’s magic powers provided, in those days, the visible proof of it. In her illustrious memory we refuse to allow truth to become “truth.” We may not know what it is, but it’s out there.
Chapter 9 The Fairie Queen
Dunia is with Omar the Ayyar (the spy) watching the rifts between the Big 4. Dunia wants revenge on the Big 4 for the killing of her father and she loves and loved a human. Part of all this was her own fault.
She needs to find them and looks until she sees a wormhole and Shining Ruby on a flying urn. She kills him and finds out she can.
On to find the others- Blood-Drinker is first but after that the jinnia, the ladies, turned against her. She has to return to the “lower world and bring the war to an end.” And there are 2 left.
B. Donizetti still adores women and they don’t like him – Dunia fixes him and he opens an upscale restaurant – Dunia helps out by providing the food and money. She’s the only customer.
C. People started venturing out again – deaths less frequent – Mayor returned to work with little Storm. Calls in Jimmy K and he’s on her side.
D. Casterbridge is missing, kidnapped – he’s back in Lucena Spain (Rushd grave) with Zabardast sitting on the biggest chair ever made – he challenges Dunia – the gods have risen to destroy the men who invented them. Zabardast eats Casterbridge and howls for Dunia – then he’s destroyed – losing control of his human shape and exploding into a fireball. Omar and Dunia arrive via a wormhole. – she’d figured out the poison stuff.
E. The dark jinn discovered that force was not enough to hold the earth. After the death of the first three Grand Ifrits their weapons/spells stopped working and people returned to their senses.
G. Only Zumurrud remains – He’s fighting Airagaira (city B from the Chinese Box) – and disarms him of his lightning. He finds his old prison bottle and corks it to be ready.
H. Dunia, Jimmy, Omar the spy and many others are ready at La Incoerenza on the thousandth night. Zumurrud arrives – it’s a duel between “seconds” and Saca starts screaming – Dunia was on the defense rather than pushing – Geronimo sees that what is in the jin is what is in the human heart – the jin were abstractions – and it is unreason which has to be eradicated in humans. The jinn selves of Geronimo and Saca have to be destroyed. We fight ourselves.
Dunia weakens, Zummarud tries to put her in the bottle -she regains strength and finally says the retort – and is dragged but then she overdid it and the bottle flew through the air to Alexandra – and she repeated the entrapment spell and Zummarud lands in the bottle and Alexandra inserts the cork.
Meanwhile, Teresa Saca rides an urn through the wormhole. (LOL)
In the end, rage, no mater how profoundly justified, destroys the enraged. Just as we are created anew by what we love, so we are reduced and unmade by what we hate.
Narrator – what/who is a hero – why. The names are randomly selected by the broken record. And we mourn – he finishes his history and it’s very nice.
Geronimo and Alexandra are together – we must all cultivate our garden – it’s not a defeat, it’s a victory over the darkness within. 🙂
Dunia took the bottle and put it somewhere it will not be found and Zumurrud the Great has not troubled anyone in the thousand years since.
The two worlds have to be separated for as long as possible. – Dunia is smoke and allows herself to be dispersed and is so weakened she can never come back – that they see.
Peace, joy, good dreams – (but the nights are rather dull)
THEMES: – mongrelism and alienation (there is no “pure”) – multi-cultural heritage in various ways, geography, names, religions, languages, foods, gardens, etc. Religion comes in for special attention –
Magic vs reason.
The structure is interesting – from 1192 AD to contemporary and then pretty straightforward except for a number of backstories on various characters. Rushdie always brings us back to the main story before we want to stay in the years prior.
This is distinctly a “tell” story – it’s not a lot of showing except for some tricks by Geronimo. The show comes into the story via the narrator “showing” us how the philosophies or ideas play out.
Favorite Rushdie books:
The Satanic Verses
Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights (2015)
The Enchantress of Florence (2008)
The Moor’s Last Sigh
Shalimar the Clown
The Ground Beneath Her Feet –