Tag Archives: salman rushdie

Rushdie: Novel Out, TV In

I suppose Salman Rushdie is absolutely right:

Salman Rushdie is to make a sci-fi television series in the belief that quality TV drama has taken over from film and the novel as the best way of widely communicating ideas and stories.

All the more reason for novelists to stop with the dull kind of boilerplate realist lit and write something that could only exist in book form.

How to Read in Indian

Mulk Raj Anand’s complaint against Midnight’s Children is worth rereading; he begins with dismissal, and one can imagine how he would have approached the gathering that took place at Neemrana. He also appears to completely miss the point of Midnight’s Children, and that, too, is part of the history of misreadings and misunderstandings that are woven into the history of Indian writing in English.

“The question of Salman Rushdie’s novel does not arise, as far as I am concerned. Rushdie is a clever young man (perhaps too clever by half as the English say). He writes very eloquently in the English language but in Midnight’s Children, he is aping the recent Americans by disembowelling his mother, painting his grandmother as a scheming old witch, his grandfather as a burglar, his father as a mere crook, and he himself as superior to all his colleagues. I suppose he is brighter than the others, but in the kind of way in which the average advertising copywriter is brighter than every other copywriter. India appears to be a spittoon to Salman Rushdie. I suppose it is as it was a vast sewage to Katherine Mayo before the war, or it is the Continent of Circe to that third-grade actor Nirad Chaudhuri, as it is An Area of Darkness to VS Naipaul, as it is Heat and Dust to Ruth [Prawer] Jhabvala.”

That sweeping condemnation is interesting on two counts. It attacks the outsider’s account of India—Naipaul, who travelled extensively in the country, and Rushdie, who grew up here and whose book is steeped in nostalgia for Bombay, are clubbed with Katherine Mayo (whose “drain inspector’s report” is still, inexplicably, on the list of books banned in India), as well as Nirad C Chaudhuri, proud dhoti-wearing imperialist, and Jhabvala, another Indian immigrant and resident.

More at The Caravan.


The Surrender is Veronica Scott Esposito’s “collection of facts” concerning how she embraced her true gender.


Two long essays of 10,000 words each on sex in—and out of—literature . . .

The first essay dives in to Nicholson Baker’s “sex trilogy,” explaining just what Baker is up to here and why these books ultimately fail to be as sexy as Baker might wish.

From there the book moves on to the second essay, which explains just why Spaniard Javier Marías does right what Baker does wrong . . .


5 essays. 2 interviews.

All in all, over 25,000 words of Latin American literary goodness.

3 never-before-published essays, including “The Digression”—a 4,000-word piece on the most important digression in César Aira’s career.

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