Monday, August 22, 2005

Rushdie Rocks !!

So I have been really busy lately since these are the last 2 weeks of my internship and I have to present my summer research work to the whole group. So I have not had a lot of time to do other things like read or write. Of course I still have to take time out to feed this cute guy and take him for a walk:

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So today I finally got to bed about half an hour early and had time to resume my re-read of Rushdie's Satanic Verses. I had first read it back in junior year of college and I have always been in awe of it. Now, before I get accused of supporting an anti-Islamic agenda, let me make it clear that I am one of those people who can appreciate a work of art without attaching any religious connotations to it. I watched The Passion of The Christ and I thought it was an excellent movie. A movie, that's it - not anti-Semitic pro-Catholic propaganda as it is claimed to be. Whatever Gibson's intentions might have been, I still see it as a piece of entertainment and therefore treat it as such. Same with Verses - it is fiction.

Phew, that was a long disclaimer. Where was I? Oh yeah, I was going to describe how much Rushdie rocks as an author! Well ... a lot! For those of you unfamiliar with Rushdie, here are a few pointers:

1) He was born in India but raised in the UK. He is British by nationality.

2) He won the Booker Prize in 1981 for Midnight's Children (my all time favorite book). The same book then won the Booker Of Bookers' Prize in 1993 for being the best work in fiction to have won the Booker in its first 25 years. He was nominated 3 more times for Shame, Satanic Verses and The Moor's Last Sigh but did not win. (A gross oversight, as I like to claim).

3) He has been longlisted for this year's Booker as well for Shalimar The Clown (which yours truly has already pre-ordered, of course. It comes out in September.)

Yes, I am aware that I am gushing like a school girl but when it comes to authors like Rushdie (or Ishiguro, Morrison, Desai and countless others), the gushing is pretty much involuntary. Here's a little excerpt from Satanic Verses:

"They hadn't been getting along lately.
He told himself that afterwards, but not during.

Afterwards, he told himself, we were on the rocks, may be it was the missing babies, may be we grew away from each other, may be this, may be that.

During, he looked away from all the strain, all the scratchiness,, all the fights that never got going, he closed his eyes and waited until her smile came back. He allowed himself to believe in that smile, that brilliant counterfeit of joy."

It's passages like these that make me glad I became a reading nerd.

[ BTW, the canine's name is Java. He belongs to my landlady. I apologize if the pic is not very good. I took it with my new cellphone (flash warning). Don't you just love shameless self-promotions ?! ]

3 comments:

Meghna said...

I love Rushdie's writings too! I think he has great style

shallabh said...

Rushdie is a great writer.I have went thrugh your blog its cool.But sir your recent disclaimer about not being anti-islam.By claiming that rushdie's writing is fiction i think you can become secular,but i think thats being pseudo secular.We have had our fights and comments on each other.What i want you to read is quran,the root from where islamic terrorism starts and about chrishtianity do read dead sea scrolls.These books,the first one offcourse is the word of allah,the second one is really interesting and truthful as it based on archeological eveidence.
I hope my comment now makes you think why i say "Muslims are not bad,quran and salil-al bukhari,hadis are bad."Thge very concept.
For that matter read also the bible.
You are living in the u.s. so i think you will have better access to books

DesiLinguist said...

The disclaimer was not intended to prove that I think of myself as secular.

BTW, Secularism does not imply condonation of Islamic terrorism in any way. I do not have to read the Quran to understand the Islamic terrorism stems from the minds of extremists.

Also, I like to keep this blog free from political commentary so I would appreciate it if you would contain your anti-muslim sentiments.