Shalimar The Clown, Salman Rushdie

As we reached the end, satisfied, having sated our (intellectual and culinary) hunger, I felt a little uneasy because the whole night we had been discussing India and Pakistan and on the next table were an expat couple (their timidity signaling a preliminary stage of their dating) one American born Indian (an ABCD) the other asian/oriental. If they end up reading this post I’d like to apologise to them, but they can rest assured that we had the best intentions in the world. And I do not mean it as in the proverb which seems to sum up one of the morals of Shalimar The Clown, “the road to hell is paved with the cobblestones of best intentions”.

Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger, our latest book in our book club was a gem. It was short and dense, made me think about how I waste my time, one of the most important steps on the way along the “know thyself” route. It was a book ideal for introverts and was about the internal reflections one has once in a while. Shalimar the Clown, by one of my favourite authors Salman Rushdie, is another attempt at knowing oneself (as all good literature is) but this time in a different way. Salman Rushdie is more concerned about “us” and others and how the troubles in some seemingly remote part of the world affect those who think they are safe and sound in their glass houses. In that way Shalimar the Clown might even be an orientalist novel especially after September 11 and other terrorist attacks that tainted the “safe west” closing the gap with the tumultuous nations of the “east”.

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Literature Meme, Midnight’s Children

I discovered Midnight’s Children in a bookstore in Mumbai eight and a half years ago and was more than pleasantly surprised as soon as I began reading it on the train from Agra to Delhi. Back then, my knowledge of Rushdie was limited to the controversy after the fatwa and I must say I am quite angry with the whole cacophony that has shrouded the beauty of his writing.

For you ignorant readers out there, a meme is defined by Wikipedia as “cultural information, such as a practice or idea, that gets transmitted verbally or by repeated action from one mind to another”. According to Richard Dawkins, who can take the credit as the person who coined the term, a meme is a replicator. I think I like this succinct description better.

In this case (practically speaking) a meme is an incentive to get bloggers to write. And as you can see (in this case) it works.

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Hakkımda/About

I’m an Istanbul based blogger mostly writing about my travels, books I read and everything else. Click here for my posts in English.

İstanbul’da oturuyorum. Gezi yazıları ve kitaplar dışında ilgimi çekenler hakkında yazılarımı burada topladım. Sitenin şarap ile alakası çok azdır.

Books I like / Sevdiğim Kitaplar

  • Labyrinths (Labirentler), Jorge Luis Borges
  • Trainspotting (Trainspotting), Irvine Welsh
  • İnce Memed, Yaşar Kemal
  • Benim Adım Kırmızı (My Name is Red), Orhan Pamuk
  • Brave New World (Cesur Yeni Dünya), Aldous Huxley
  • Lord of the Flies (Sineklerin Tanrısı), William Golding
  • Das Parfum (Koku), Patrick Süskind
  • Midnight’s Children (Geceyarısı Çocukları), Salman Rushdie
  • Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov
  • Crime and Punishment (Suç ve Ceza), Fyodor Dostoyevski
  • Puslu Kıtalar Atlası, İhsan Oktay Anar
  • The Great Gatsby (Muhteşem Gatsby), F. Scott Fitzgerald

Films I Enjoy / Sevdiğim Filmler

  • The Big Lebowski, Coen Brothers
  • Monthy Pyton’s Life of Brian, Terry Jones
  • Trainspotting, Danny Boyle
  • Amores Perros, Allejandro Gonzales Inarritu
  • Kika, Almodovar
  • The Party, Blake Edwards
  • Top Secret!, ZAZ