Tuesday, October 28, 2008
We met at Kate B's to talk about Rushdie's new effort, which seems to be in the vein of historical fiction, taking place in Fatehpur Sikri and Florence, and uses as its characters kings and rulers of the period. Kate P., Anne and Kate B were under the impression that Rushdie was following the style of E.L. Doctorow, that is, in creating opportunities for unlikely people to meet up, however Narayan reminded us of his research on Manucci, which he explained was the basis for the Mogor character. Narayan did not care to finish the book, pointing out that every Indian school child learns the Mughals and therefore he does not feel that he is the intended audience. Kate and Kate were generally underwhelmed by the novel, but perhaps didn't expect too much, not being huge Rushdie fans to begin with (ditto for Narayan). Kate P. felt that it did not read like a typical Rushdie in that the Hobson-Jobson wordplay was seriously toned down. The book's biggest booster was Anne, who says that she really likes royal historical fiction as a rule, always has, and relished the scenery and settings of the story as well. Still yet Anne felt that the middle section was boggy, and was tempted to skip to the end. Sorry Mr. Rushdie. (By the way, isn't this cover pretty? Must be the British edition).
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
I was wondering if anyone else was interested in the references to Chagatai lineage/familial connections that his character Akbar mentions in the new Rushdie. Chagatai Khan was evidently one of two sons of Genghis Khan, and there are several slightly confusing articles on the Wikipedia pages, but I kind of like this one on Chugtai culture, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chughtai ...
(this is supposed to be a painting of his brother Ögedei, but I am hoping they looked similar- apparently Ögedei was a bigger badass..in this case not necessarily meant as a compliment..)