Posted by sepoy on March 03, 2008 · 1 min read

Catching up on my NYer, I see that Salman Rushdie is now doing movie tie-in literature. To coincide with the release of Jodha Akbar, is his maudlin The Shelter of the World. Finally, someone brings the missing Three Deep Marks on testicles to the historical narrative discovered by the mighty good fillum. Um. Enjoy?


Qalandar | March 03, 2008

Yeah, I saw him speak about this on NDTV a few months before the film came out. The premise as he explained it did not sound promising at all, quite stale in fact (hard to believe this is the same chap who wrote Midnight's Children and The Satanic Verses); I take it you've seen the extract that appeared in The New Yorker?

Qalandar | March 03, 2008

Re: "Catching up on my NYer..." Duh, Exhibit A for why the first five words of any piece are not to be skipped. Apologies.

Qalandar | March 03, 2008

Btw, this whole notion of the "fantasy" Jodha is certainly going to endear Rushdie's novel to the right-wingers who are presently using flimsy excuses ("Hey she was really married to Jahangir!") to agitate against the film (it's patently obvious that the real target is the un-controversial fact of Rajput aristocratic cooperation/collaboration in the Mughal imperial enterprise). A ban in Madhya Pradesh has been overturned by court order, the one in Rajasthan stays, and a day or so ago Uttar Pradesh joined the party (most surprisingly: not only is it not ruled by the BJP, but the relevant vote bank -- Rajputs and Thakurs -- is not known to vote for the ruling BSP -- but I guess where there is life there is hope)...

Anil | March 03, 2008

Uh oh. Did you say "maudlin"? And did you deign to add a question mark after the word "enjoy"? Now you've done it. You'll never work in this town again. Or at least you might not ever share a stage.

Red | March 04, 2008

Prahlad Shekhawat has an interesting take on the Rajput agitation against the film and what it reveals about the tensions in the formations of new Rajput identities A more optimistic reading by Namrata Joshi here

Qalandar | March 04, 2008

Yeah, I'd read the Shekhawat piece (must say I hadn't known of the Sufi-tinged origins of the name), it was a welcome one... On the Rushdie piece in the New Yorker, it's quite mediocre -- the guy has simply lost it with his recent novels (I couldn't get to the end of Ground Beneath Her Feet, and reading extracts from Fury was all I could stomach; Shalimar was better, but pretty stale). And boy was he pompous on NDTV in the face of a fawning interviewer -- when the latter brought up a criticism that Pankaj Mishra had made, Rushdie referred to Indian writers who have written a "book-and-a-half" and feel compelled to "slay the father" (aside: if one must go the Harold Bloom/Anxiety of Influence route, one should at least get it right! The "father" for Mishra's purposes is manifestly NOT Rushdie, but E.M. Forster's "Passage to India" IMO, and more broadly the tradition of the "English novel")...

Tiffin | March 05, 2008

I'm wondering if you can spell out for what your remark about the "Three Deep Marks on testicles to the historical narrative" pertains to? I am a lowly undergraduate history major with a keen interest in South Asia, and I do enjoy your blog. I tend to think Salman Rushdie is rather marvelous and look forward to having the time to read his new novel... is this a bit of Tall Poppy Syndrome going on here? I mean, of course he's pompous, he's Salman Rushdie. Wouldn't his being down to earth constitute something of a letdown?

sepoy | March 05, 2008

Tiffin: We are all lowly here, so no need to be apologetic. My remark is just snark intended to highlight the over-the-top attempt at sexual hijinks contained in Rushdie's short story. Now, my question to you: what is this novel everyone keeps talking about? don't tell me he has a book on Akbar coming!

Tiffin | March 05, 2008

Well, I followed some of the links in the discussion here and I don't remember where it was said, but apparently the NYer makes a habit of excerpting pieces from forthcoming novels. Rushdie's forthcoming novel is called "the Enchantress of Florence", and has the same miniature painting as came with the excerpt you linked to...

sepoy | March 05, 2008

thanks. i am looking forward it now!

Qalandar | March 06, 2008

Yeah he was in India in December and showed up on TV talking about this upcoming novel, set in Akbar's India and about a Renaissance European who shows up at the Mughal court claiming to be related or some such thing... On that note, Partha Chatterjee's "A Princely Imposter" and of course "The Return of Martin Guerre" are more up my alley...I'd have been more interested if Rushdie had done a crazy magic realist version of Dean Mahomet's time in Europe ("Occidentalism", anyone?)...