Salman Rushdie's Shame

Finished reading Salman Rushdie's Shame, which takes into consideration authorship of history and the play of power & revolution (specifically how one can become the other, and how this vicious cycle feeds on itself) and succeccessfully represents how a character can so embody an emotion: Sufiya Zinobia becomes the pure energy of shame, finally visiting upon Omar Khayyam Shakil---a character who has known no shame, but perhaps deserves to---as a Beast, as Shame incarnate. I was reminded of Marquez' One Hundered Years of Solitude in the way that characters and places seem to exist in both reality and in some imagination or other. Shame seemed less dreamy than hazy, vertigo- or fever-induced.

I think Rushdie was successfully able to talk about power and politics, and specifically how it related to his mother country while still telling a magical tale. He slipped in the politics, in a Brechtian, diegetic-breaking way, and with humor. I enjoyed the way he would weave the tale and then seem to unravel what he had just told, only to show you that a more elaborate, or perhaps farther-to-completed version was being woven right underneath.

Some highlights to come back to at some point:

* Rani's scarves depicting Iskander's exploits
* Bilquis' survivial of the explosion, and hazily coming to in Raza's life
* Haroun's revolutionay spittle from the back of a giant turtle

Item originally posted to a defunct personal wordpress installation