I feel a change in my personal literary climate: Author Salman Rushdie on his new book
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I feel a change in my personal literary climate: Author Salman Rushdie on his new book

The celebrity author on how the bizarreries of the Internet pushes him away from wilder flights of fancy

brunch Updated: Sep 05, 2017 17:50 IST
Team Brunch
Team Brunch
Hindustan Times
Salman Rushdie,The Golden House,The Moor’s Last Sigh
Salman Rushdie says he wanted to attempt a panoramic social novel(Syrie Moskowitz)

In a conversation with writer Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi about his new book, The Golden House, author Salman Rushdie said he wanted to make a change of gear in his writing and attempt a paranomic social novel.

“I have always looked for crossroads at which the conversation inside me intersects with the greater conversation around me, and tried to build my books on those points. So The Golden House deals with exile, reinvention, secret selves, identity, art, the crisis within the self and outside it; a broken and fracturing family set against a broken and fracturing world,” he said.

Echoing the rush tide of Rushdie’s 1995 Bombay ode The Moor’s Last Sigh, the new book is an on-point document of implausible realism. Dadaist enough to tether outside the range of imagination but not of experience, it recalls Lorrie Moore’s appraisal that, ‘Surrealism could not be made up. It was the very electricity of the real.’ In drawing up a post-truth, post-democracy America, has the ringmaster of magic realism set down the whip of his form? “I never say never, so I won’t say ‘never again magic realism,’ but I do feel a change in my personal literary climate,” he clarified.

“The undermining of reality by, yes, the bizarreries of the Internet and the greater bizarreries of power pushes me away from my own wilder flights of fancy. But realism is a broad church, with Raymond Carver at one end, if you like, and High Modernism at the other. The ‘operatic realism’ which René the narrator strives towards is as good a description of what I’m trying to do as anything.”

From HT Brunch, September 3, 2017

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First Published: Sep 05, 2017 17:50 IST