Saturday, April 05, 2008

Knighted and Benighted

I feel I have been damaged as a writer by the way people perceive my work as part of a political event. It is seen as a political entity rather than an artistic one. When Midnight's Children and Shame were published, people responded quite differently to my writing. Then there was a real shift in tone, when they said: ‘Oh that was what he was really trying to do!' That is one of the pleasurable things about this new book: the storyteller is not me. I am still a fiction writer underneath all that mess.
Salman Rushdie gives an exclusive interview to the Times in the wake of the publication of his latest novel The Enchantress of Florence. He talks to Kate Muir about how he got over a shyness for writing about sex; the challenges of writing in a post-September 11, post-Iraq war world; and his move away from what New Yorker critic James Wood has described as his “hysterical realism”.

The novel is out this month.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

The Enchantress of Florence will be out in April 2008.

bibliobibuli said...

yes ah? oic - britain a month early was looking at the us date

Burhan said...

The Rushdie quote speaks of various general issues. On the always difficult relationships between politics and literary reception. On the political novel as a genre. And on the literary text as a political entity.

rajan said...

For a foretaste of the new book, "The Enchantress of Florence", try Rushdie's recent short-story for the New Yorker, "The shelter of the world", a brilliant take on the Akbar Khan and Jodha legend, which also happens to be the subject of a recent Bollywood film...

It contains lines such as this, on Akbar's childhood:

... about abandonment in general, and in particular fatherlessness, the lessness of fathers, the lessness of the fatherless, and the best defenses of those who are less against those who are more: inwardness, forethought, cunning, humility, and good peripheral vision. The many lessons of lessness. The lessening from which growing could begin....

Hysterical realism? Think not..its amazing writing from a colossal talent.

johnevans said...

Amazing writing? Colossal talent? Perhaps it is because Rushdie was my classmate and academic rival at Rugby School that I find it hard to pay undiluted homage to him...

bibliobibuli said...

rajan - thanks. the story isn't online anymore. think i'm going to subscribe the the new yorker ... there's just so much good stuff

john - do tell more! want to blog a post for us??

screech said...

http://www.newyorker.com/fiction/features/2008/02/25/080225fi_fiction_rushdie

:)

bibliobibuli said...

very many thanks, screech.

Ruhayat said...

Honestly. Some writers should know when to retire. This Rushdie guy should have about 4 books ago.