Notes from Salman Rushdie

Salman Rushdie was here.  No one died.

My notes, as they are, not cleaned up (except to be typed rather than handwritten):

laughter & forgetting 😀

–> A novel of memory becomes a political novel

literature to preserve the human scale… that which can be obliterated

Addressing Am. power in Am. novels — but not prescriptive

can’t force it

–> but these political subjects change so rapidly

Why do novels try to address large scale? Space b/t public & private has shrunk – our lives shaped by things beyond the frontier of our lives – counter-example = Austen doesn’t write about Napoleonic wars – no ref to “news” – it is hard 4 us now 2 talk about our lives w/o addressing the public space

-> Heraclitus –  man’s character is his fate

Moby Dick – the obsessed characters all die.

But… accidents?

–> lives shaped by events over which we have no control –  9/11 had nothing to do w/character of people who died

literature offers a pluralistic cure to the narrowing of identity, which spurs conflict

–> capaciously viewed self

Satanic Verses – problem w/people who define themselves by their rage

For Islam “history” is the enemy

–> revelation as pre-linguistic, reception is translated from divine to human language

Novel – nobody owns it– an artist offering his vision to the world


About Jessica Smith
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