Victory City Review: Is Salman Rushdie’s New Novel ‘Asian Game of Thrones’?
In 2017, I interviewed Salman Rushdie by phone for this article. It’s a beautiful September day in New York, the superstar author told me, and he’s excited to be on a promotional mission for his Trump offensive game, the Golden House. He has a generous spirit that reflects everything from last season’s finale of Game of Thrones, to how The Satanic Verses was ultimately told about it – a book – rather than “stuff” engulfed it”.
Of course, I am referring to the prize money awarded to the Booker Prize winner in 1989 by Ayatollah Khomeini for noticing the insults against the Prophet Mohammed contained in that novel. After years of hiding, living under constant protection, Rushdie that day sounded free and comfortable, one who could look back on it all from the vantage of a safe new home in a land new water. The irony about another kind of cancellation culture that currently exists in the world hasn’t gone away for him.
And today, four years later, it is heartbreaking to think that the masterminds of Muslim violence were able to catch him as he was about to give a speech in New York last August (ironically). instead, on the topic of the United States as a refuge for the threatened). Writer). The attacker, not yet born when the novel was released and uncertain (as many of its most avid critics) had actually read it, was unsuccessful. However, today’s Rushdie is still recovering with permanent injuries to one eye, liver and arm.
It’s hard to separate victory city from Rushdie’s everyday reality right now. Submitted to publishers long before the attack, his 15th novel nonetheless contains some of the sentiments that the author’s supporters have felt since he was targeted. . This is a novel unencumbered by limits, boundaries or limits, in which the enduring magic of one’s words challenges the forces of tyranny.
That person is Pampa Kampana, who tells the story of her two and a half centuries of life, which we are reading in translation. Beginning in 14th century Hindustan, we are introduced to Pampa as an orphaned nine-year-old girl. She is possessed by a goddess, who tells her that her destiny will be to use her new powers to give birth to a great city, a city of progressive values and enlightening attitude.
She matured after several years of living with an abusive monk, before meeting shepherd brothers Hukka and Bukka. She gave them the seeds along with instructions on how to spread them on the ground. From these sprouts, the vast, fully formed city of Bisnaga, complete with palaces, temples, defensive walls, and bustling population. Pampa whispered into the ears of these people their personal histories, fears, and dreams, “writing the great story of the city, creating its story that she now created her life for. it”. The shepherd siblings became the roots of a royal dynasty that would rule Bisnaga, with Pampa assuming not only the role of its queen but also a prophetess and miracle worker walking among them. But with all her might and social ideals, even she can’t stop the worst tendencies of human nature. As generations go by, fervor, dissent, arrogance and greed will inevitably emerge in Pampa’s hand-planted society. Amid the exiles, betrayals, marital alliances, tumultuous lineages, and wars over the course of the epic, you’ll wonder if you’re reading an Asian work. Game of Thrones set in the Middle Ages, only more ironic and fanciful.
The translation we read is an ancient Sanskrit manuscript that is said to have been buried by Pampa in an earthenware vase before her death. The translator, “neither a scholar nor a poet but merely a spinner”, joins in the action, sometimes breaking through the confusion of the thinness of details, offering editorial comments or encouraging readers to believe. where a small plot hole can appear.
This additional framing device has been slightly worn, however, it adds to the vaguely mischievous tone Rushdie has always been able to infuse into his bright, fluid storytelling. Amidst all the polite intrigue and wonderful realism woven through the diverse cast of characters, fleeting wicked humor emerges and runs through the story deliciously. Rushdie’s sharp, disguised satire speaks to everything from religious extremism to greed to patriarchal perversion. All seemed unaffected by him without effort.
No one can tell when Rushdie will rejoin public life and once again promote her new titles with the same cheerful humor and generous spirit as I met that day. The important thing right now is victory city was the perfect totem to consider him – a wondrous book by a writer whose extraordinary skill, consistency and wit we almost lost. As Pampa puts it in the final lines of his story, “words are the only winners.”
Novel: The City of Victory by Salman Rushdie
Classic, 352 pages, hardcover €17.99; eBooks £17.99
Video of the day
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/books/book-reviews/review-of-victory-city-is-salman-rushdies-new-novel-an-asian-game-of-thrones-42323686.html Victory City Review: Is Salman Rushdie’s New Novel ‘Asian Game of Thrones’?