Monday, November 27, 2017

Salman Rushdie

Salman Rushdie's new novel is The Golden House. From the transcript of his interview with Fareed Zakaria:

ZAKARIA: So, this is a novel different from some of the other things you've written. It feels very contemporary. It feels like you're describing the world we're living in.

So, I have to ask you as a social observer, what is, to your mind, the dominant reality of America, of New York, of its big cities today?

RUSHDIE: Well, I think it's - first of all, one of the realities is the incredible division between the big city and the hinterland, the fact that New Yorkers think one way and Middle America thinks in a radically different way.

To the extent there's always been that split, that New York and America have never been completely happy with each other. That's true about Paris in France and London in England as well. So, it's something about the nature of the metropolis.

But, right now, that rift is so exaggerated.

ZAKARIA: It's set in the Obama years, very clearly in the Obama years. You made a conscious decision to do that. It's a thing you're told not to do as a writer, which is to write right up against the present moment, to write the book which is about the moment in which the book is being written, and to react, to be reactive to things that happen.

And as a novelist, what strikes you about the Obama era?

RUSHDIE: What I felt was that there was this movement from incredible optimism to its antithesis.

That's to say, I mean, I remember, I was here on the night of the first Obama election. And I was walking around the city in the middle of the night in places where people gather, like Union Square and Rockefeller Plaza, like that.

And just looking at people's faces, the extraordinary joy and hope in those mainly young faces, I thought, was a remarkable thing to witness.

And now...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue