The Decade of Death
Freedom of Expression, Electorates and Cheddar Cheese
Who Controls Story?
Struggle for Freedom of Expression
But Rushdie's memoirs are also not what many had expected they would be. I am not sure if he has made sufficient efforts to understand his adversaries, his tormentors and sometimes even his supporters. One suspects that Rushdie knows only one perspective and denies all others. Further, he has not been able to hide bitterness, animosity and sometimes loud and strong passions against his tormentors. This is understandable. However, what is not understandable is that he has not been able to show enough gratitude towards his protectors and all those who stood behind him.
Rushdie is in a hurry as if he is on a battlefield and really comes off in these memoirs more as a Roman warrior obsessed with only two states, victory and defeat. One may argue that this is what the situation was: a struggle for life and survival. But then literature is much more than this. Literature is not battle. It is a story, a narrative of the battle, and has to be told in a perspective, a story seen somewhat telescopically. True and great art is born of the magical touch of love, healing and understanding, which need to come with such a long telescopic vision. Rushdie may be a brilliant writer, a great craftsman of words, a great fighter; but I am afraid, his memoirs still fall a little short of what we might call Great Work of Art.