Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie
Maybe you’ve read Rushdie. Maybe ‘Midnight’s Children’ (incredible – sorry @sreddyen
), maybe ‘The Satanic Verses’ (superlative), maybe ‘The Enchantress of Florence (meh). I’ve read Rushdie. Full clouds bursting with the man.
Rushdie makes it blatantly clear that he loves to mould language, and he loves to tell stories. Here, he strips away the concerns with modernity, migrancy, caste, desire, and writes about the importance of stories, whilst telling a story. The truth is in the tale.✨🌻 “But why do you hate stories so much?” Haroun blurted, feeling stunned.
“Stories are fun…” “The world, however, is not for fun” Khattam-Shud replied. “The world is for controlling.”
When a literary icon like Rushdie turns to weaving a magical children’s story, I feel liberated. So much of contemporary (and in more times and spaces than that) literary criticism forgets the joy that storytelling, reading, and imagining different worlds and new possibilities, brings to people.
It’s why I fell in love with reading.
“Believe in your own eyes and you’ll get into a lot of trouble, hot water, a mess!”
Rushdie writes on the other side of what is evident. On some levels ‘Haroun and the Sea of Stories’ is a fable, but on all levels it is a lot of fun. I have always admired Rushdie for making me laugh, even as he works with the most fraught and serious subject matter.
Basic, maybe, but this book showed me again how much fun it is to have fun.
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