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Tony Grist

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Why The Satanic Verses Is Such A Bore [Jul. 30th, 2012|11:01 am]
Tony Grist
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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Comments:
[User Picture]From: steepholm
2012-07-30 10:05 am (UTC)
a lot of images he's assimilated from Borges and Tim Rice

*snigger*
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[User Picture]From: setsuled
2012-07-30 10:11 am (UTC)
I felt The Satanic Verses was boring because it seemed like the point of everything that happened in the book was to remind us it was a work of fiction. I always find that sort of post modernism really, really dull, especially because it thinks its being very clever when it's really just being redundant.

So, I have a slightly different read. Such is the contribution made to our culture by The Satanic Verses--generations after us may debate precisely what it is about the book that makes it so boring and vapid.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2012-07-30 10:33 am (UTC)
The Satanic Verses will be remembered because of the upheaval it caused. I'm proud of us for standing firm and backing Rushdie and keeping the book in print. I just wish it was better.
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[User Picture]From: setsuled
2012-07-30 06:22 pm (UTC)
I certainly agree.
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[User Picture]From: veronikos
2012-07-30 10:43 am (UTC)
So many emperors, so few clothes...
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2012-07-30 11:05 am (UTC)
Posterity will sort 'em out.
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[User Picture]From: lblanchard
2012-07-30 01:01 pm (UTC)
Dense. Chewy. Forgettable.

Like a piece of cheap beef.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2012-07-30 03:18 pm (UTC)
That sums it up very nicely.
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[User Picture]From: lblanchard
2012-07-30 07:31 pm (UTC)
I thought you'd like that.
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[User Picture]From: ron_broxted
2012-07-30 02:19 pm (UTC)

Big Boys Ganes, Big Boys Rules.

My reading of Rushdie? I liked Satanic verses initially, then after his arrest I was told to re-read bits slagging off plod (now keeping him alive). I still have my copy but revised my view, it really is offensive to Muslims.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2012-07-30 03:26 pm (UTC)

Re: Big Boys Ganes, Big Boys Rules.

He was naive if he thought he could get away with it.

Mind you, I'm proud of us for backing him up and keeping the book in print.
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[User Picture]From: sorenr
2012-08-02 07:12 am (UTC)

Re: Big Boys Ganes, Big Boys Rules.

Even authors we dislike - and Rushdie really bores me - should be allowed their voice.

Mind you, I can't help thinking The Satanic Verses would have been an awesome book if Umberto Eco had written it; he can do verbose AND plot at the same time... (Some times better than others, granted!)
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2012-08-02 08:45 am (UTC)

Re: Big Boys Ganes, Big Boys Rules.

I love The Name of the Rose, but everything else of his (that I've read) has disappointed me.
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