Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

Why The Satanic Verses Is Such A Bore

I've worked out why Rushdie is so tedious. It's because he's telling us his dreams. Novels are good for two things: one, they tell us stories and two, they tell us about the world. Rushdie just noodles, free-associating, throwing out stuff as it occurs to him. His reality is a dream reality, in which things happen without rules, without trajectory, without suspense, without any kind of story to engage us. If anything can happen, who cares what happens next?  Wouldn't it be fun if someone turned into a manticore? OK, why not? this is Liberty Hall.  As for reflecting the world, there's a bit where an old woman reminisces about her life in Argentina. Has Rushdie been to Argentina or done any research? I doubt it. He's just shovelled together a lot of images he's assimilated from Borges and Tim Rice- the pampas like a great sea, ostriches, gauchos, knife fights, peronistas- and why should we give a damn? It's all secondhand. He relies on his wordplay to carry him through- all that clever, sub-Joycean verbosity- but he isn't a poet and he isn't a comedian...
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