Monday, 3 December 2012

A Winter warming hatchet job

The list of those in the public eye to whom I have taken an instant dislike is quite long. Inevitably, those first judgements don't change - their subjects merely become increasingly more irritating as time goes on. Salman Rushdie was an early member of the list; just a few paragraphs of the Satanic Verses revealed his unique brand of petty pomposity. Along with Billy Connolly, Terry Waite, Neil Oliver, Maya Angelou, Griff Rhys Jones solo and Noel Edmunds he shares an instant channel-change effect for the TV; I will instantly stab the face of the remote at random just to get any one of them out of the parlour immediately.

Zoe-with-an-umlaut Heller's hatchet job in the NYRB on Rushdie's Joseph Anton is therefore a welcome winter-warmer, to be relished at a slow read with a pint of hot spiced cider at one's side. Rushdie is not an attractive person, and Heller has his measure. Splendid stuff.

8 comments:

G. Tingey said...

Well, I'm afraid you're talking bollocks.
Rushdie's style is very opaque [ I tried to read a very early work of his ...]
BUT
He does prod the rich the powerful & the arrogant, both politicians & (even worse) the religious.
"Midnight's Children" caused uproar in India & Pakistan, because R. properly lampooned the current & past "leaderships" of those countries for blatantly squandering the gift given them in 1948.
"The Satanic Verses" similarly prodded islam, in the same way (only worse) that asking the question "did Adam have a navel?" used to do (& still does for the fundie-nutter) christians. Because it not just implies, it directly states, that Mahmud was a fallible human being, & therefore calls the whole "recital" into question.

It's the Socrates-poke to authority: "Teaching the young to ask too many questions".

Well, good for him, obscure style or not.

Nick Drew said...

Neil Oliver incurring the Wrath of Wraedwald ? little Neil Oliver ?

surely not!

Anonymous said...

Rushdie is a twerp.

Raedwald, kindly consider including Stephen Fry in your little list?

I'm sure, 'they'll none of be missed'.

Anonymous said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diaeresis_%28diacritic%29#Diaeresis

Observer said...

Chris Patten.Pompous, vain and a serial collector of public pensions.

Our own Jacques Delors

Dave_G said...

Anyone with an (MP) suffix.....

hatfield girl said...

"The Wrath of Wraedwald"

Trembles in boots

(which today are red, ankle-length, flat Pradas with fleecy lining.)

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