29 September, 2020

That Magical Tapwater

A transmogrifying Rushdie still hits familiar tunes in a realigned world

That Magical Tapwater
The day I got my PhD I dashed out and bought myself a hardback copy of Midnight’s Children, eager to consume his extravagant articulation of the mingled idealism and disillusionment, the anger and despair of our "less deceived" generation. Now, years on, the book is much thumbed, and scrawled over by children who are no longer children. And Rushdie too is transmogrifying...

But first, the facts. The latest from Salman Rushdie is a miscellaneous grab-bag of bits and pieces by the great man. There are essays here, and newspaper columns, and prickly public correspondence dating from what Rushdie identifies as "the plague years", when he lived in the shadow of the famous fatwa. Finally, there is the text of two lectures on ‘Human Values’ that Rushdie delivered at Yale earlier this year—‘Step Across This Line’. Many of the essays are familiar from earlier incarnations: the Wizard of Oz essay introduced the book of the film; the infamous ‘Damme, This is the Oriental Scene for You!’, about the greater worth of Indian writing in English, as against that in other Indian...



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