Comfortably Numb

Sheila Kumar's Storehouse

Published on: 08/16/15 6:41 AM

Book excerpts: Joseph Anton by Salman Rushdie

The Great Writer is an agent provocateur of the first water. And what an ego! The reader flinches at all he throws at Wife Number 2; winces as his relationship with Wife Number 1 sours; cringes at his derisive description of Wife Number Three as the Illusion. And yet, there are great big tranches of writing that soars, uplifts, transcends. What a word-wielder.

Here are excerpts…

When a book leaves its author’s desk it changes. Even before anyone has read it, before eyes other than its creator’s have looked upon a single phrase, it is irretrievably altered. It has acquired free will. It will make its journey through the world and there is no longer anything the author can do about it. Even he, as he looks at its sentences, reads them differently now that they can be read by others. They look like different sentences. The book has gone out into the world and the world has remade it. 

On a British TV show Kalim Siddiqui of the Muslim Institute, said: we hit back. Sometimes we hit back first.

The fatwa was his heroin. It made him spend everything he earned and though it might end up killing him, it didn’t even give him a high.

(After reading Joseph Anton by Salman Rushdie.)

Related Links:

Book review: Quichotte by Salman Rushdie

Book review: The Golden House by Salman Rushdie

Book review: Two Years, Eight Months and Twenty-eight Nights by Salman Rushdie

fictionJoseph AntonSalman Rushdie

Sheila Kumar • August 16, 2015

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