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Tuesday, August 09, 2005

'A Garbled Book For Garbled Times' (With A Garbled Review)

The enviably-named Joy Press of The Village Voice begins her review of Salman Rushdie's Shalimar The Clown in this manner:

"The events of Rushdie's life are allegory for the unavoidable world-historical collision between rootless cosmopolitanism and theocratic absolutism, between civilization (with its values of secularism, skepticism, and relativism) and the gathering forces of a new medievalism."

Er...if you say so.

Her conclusion goes on to damn the book with faint praise:

"At its best, Rushdie's fiction holds up a warped mirror to real life, in all its absurdity and awfulness. Shalimar the Clown does that to some extent, but feels not fully inflated. Even more than usual, the characters seem allegorical, passion-play placeholders for the grand ideas and currents buffeting the world. The result is an honorable failure, a garbled book for garbled times."

2 Comments:

  • oo-er! Shalimar the Clown does that to some extent, but feels not fully inflated. This is a book, or a balloon she's reviewing?

    all said, i would prefer an honorable failure by rushdie to some dishonourable successes by various others.

    By Blogger uma, at 8:16 PM  

  • Oh, absolutely.

    By Blogger PrufrockTwo, at 7:34 AM  

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