Got back from seeing Salman Rushdie a while ago.. He’s a fairly engaging speaker.. the topic was loose enough (“the Role of a Writer”) that it was more or less like sitting down to coffee with him and shooting the shit. He was at his worst when he actually stayed on topic. Because, really, the role of a writer is to write, and that’s basically all he said, just in more words. Expose truth via untruths, etc etc. Whatever. Newsflash!! I guess it was ostensibly a talk oriented towards college kids, so maybe this was all news to them. His best was when he was digressing onto whatever tangents his brain was obviously leading him. Stories about him at award shows with Saul Bellow and such. Pretty entertaining. I think of the 4 or 5 questions he was asked, he actually answered maybe … 1 of them, and then only as a token gesture. Questions are merely an opportunity to digress.. I do wish the topic had perhaps been a bit more focused, just because it’s his more geopolitical commentary that really gets me off.

My experience with Rushdie is mostly via his editorial commentary, and a favorite exchange of mine with George Galloway. We should have a face-off between Rushdie and Christopher Hitchens where they take turns making a complete ass of George Galloway.. Anyways, I should get around to reading some of Rushdie’s actual novels. I’ve been on a fiction-reading kick, lately.. Diving into Love in the time of Cholera again right now.. Enjoying it a lot more this time around.