Prufrock's Page

Saturday, August 20, 2005


Siddhartha Deb thinks it's overhyped and India Today's S. Prasannarajan praises it in his usual adjectival manner. Now, here's another profile-cum-interview with the man on the eve of the launch of Shalimar The Clown:

“What I tried to do in this book was to explain it [the fatwa] by entering into it. To say, if you were there, who would be there and how would they talk to you and what would you feel like and how would it make you think and what would it change in you? What would you want to accept and what would you reject? What would you be pushed towards? And not just to explain it but to understand it. And that’s very interesting to me because research will only get you so far. The thing you have to do is to make that imaginative leap in order to get inside the skin of these people.”

On Midnight's Children:
“I often wonder who that is. Because I don’t write like that any more. I think a lot has changed, not just in the language but also in the perspective. I mean, it’s a young man’s book and it has the strength of that....After the failure of the first book and after one or two false starts or things that never made it to print, I remember thinking, well, you’d better either give up or do something much more conservative and middle-of-the-road and non-risky. Something, you know, littler.

“Or take the biggest risk you can. So that if you’re going to go down, at least go down in flames. And, actually, I remember very clearly thinking, well, OK, then, I’ll do this because I can’t think of anything more artistically dangerous. And, yes, it took me for ever.”


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