18 thoughts on “Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights – Salman Rushdie

  1. I have read the first section headed THE CHILDREN OF IBN RUSHD, the true nature of the jinn… I keep my powder dry, since I am not planning to real-time review this book in detail, but give broadbrush impressions intermittently. Rest assured, meanwhile, that THIS Salman RUSHDie has not lost his touch, the style being miles away the optimum for a long-term favourite writer of mine, as he is.

  2. MR. GERONIMO finishes on page 51.
    Oh, the curse of numbers. Of lack of lobes. Of lightning.
    This is is vintage RUSHDie, no rush to die for him, better than Mudnight’s Children, as the era of our world’s strangeness (and mud ensues). Vintage, too, because his prose is a sliver above the page itself and not only tentacularly Proustian but also far more easily understandable, its syntactic and semantic structures pull you in and flow through each other (you and it) like magic realism, which of course you are.
    Voltaire’s garden cultivated to Lispector’s word on the tip of another word, Mr G as skin tissue above that of the woman to whom he makes love as well as global warming.

    “On the day his wife died he had worked at La Incoerenza for two years, eight months and twenty-eight days. One thousand days and one day. There was no escape from the curse of numbers.”

  3. –> page 81

    “That would be as if a story mated with its reader to produce another reader.”

    Jinns break through into our life, blending religious or mythic or real antiquities with modernities, fantastic strangenesses appearing around us, plus a miracle baby that can judge humankind’s corruption… Stories told while mating with each other, with more and more of them able to read this their own review by a real-time reader.
    DARK TOWER by Stephen King made Magic Real, with the Rush-to-Die special style that is complex but compulsive and strangely easy to read because it is touching somewhere inside, by-passing the reading eyes. The incoherence of the philosophers? I’d say that is a definition of certain fiction, fiction of strangenesses like this one.

  4. –> Page 91

    “On the day that Adam and Eve invented god, the article continued, they at once lost control of him.”

    More stunning explication of the ‘strangenesses’, part of which at least brought to mind the tragic Hajj events that occurred a few days ago in my own real-time.
    And further events that have a brief reference to Mr Geronimo the gardener from a different section of this book, bringing to mind the crosscurrents of the sections in David Mitchell novels like Cloud Atlas and others

  5. –> Page 111

    The jinn-sodden world.
    Now, I am in media res with someone telling stories about old Bagdad without the ‘h’.
    Before that in this section there was a literary möbius section upon the increasing levitational blight, as he himself sees it, upon Mr. Geronimo. The language levitates, too.

    Meanwhile, I came across the following in this section:
    “And if so why was he the only living creature to be affected? Or was he for some biochemical or supernatural reason preternaturally sensitive to the changes in the planet–”
    Can anything be both supernatural and preternatural? Sends my mind reeling. A battle between faith and hope?

  6. –> Page 121

    “…our fictions are killing us, but if we didn’t have those fictions, maybe that would kill us too.”

    This text reaches heights that really touch my core regarding the art of fiction, ‘the synchronised shards of random truth and fiction’ as I called them in the subtitle of my book ‘Weirdmonger’ in 2003, and RUSHDie refers here to the ‘story parasite’ and the ‘irruption of the fantastic into the quotidian’…

    image

  7. –> Page 141

    ZUMURRUD THE GREAT AND HIS THREE COMPANIONS

    “Ghazali was think of Ibn Rushd. ‘My adversary in thought,’ he told Zumurrud Shah, ‘is a poor fool who is convinced that with the passage of time human beings will turn from faith to reason,…'”

    Amid much jinnery, and those slits and seals through which the jinns pass into our world, I wonder if RUSH-TO-DIE himself on the back dustjacket flap is a human jinn, setting himself up against Ghazali, a fictional creation to make the author feel more real by comparison and not rushing to die at all, not already close to becoming unreal, as we all are eventually close to something finite whether we rush there or not, even myself with the ill that besets me. (But first I need to fight this book with my own book – through the quixotiose Nemonymous Night.)

    The three companions of Zumurrud – a jinn let loose by Ghazali – are brilliantly described with reprises of King Kong. And a giant snake as a new sinuous 9/11. And more, none of which I can match because of my own quixotioseness…

    “It is necessary to speak briefly of the extreme laziness of the great jinn. If you wish to understand how it can be that so many of these extremely powerful spirits have been so frequently captured in bottles, lamps, and so on, the answer lies in the immense indolence that comes over a jinni after he has performed more or less any action.”

    image

  8. DUNIA IN LOVE, AGAIN

    –> Page 161

    “The Jinn believe in the purposive nature of the universe, in which even the random has a goal.”

    Geronimo (a reincarnation of IBN RUSHD (a Jinn himself) and does that mean that he is also a reincarnation of the author RUSH-TO-DIE pictured above?) continues to float more and more above the ground, although not yet far enough to fully disable him. And there is much worthy wordplay about this phenomenon. Many complexities of assumption in tentacularly splendid prose about the making of love or war between permutations of surrogates and reincarnations, those ‘synchronised shards of random truth and fiction’ in full blossom for the first time perhaps in the whole of literature, and one sits reading in wonder as book battles with book, author with author’s surrogate, author’s reincarnation with author’s Jinn — Or, plain and simple, author with reader? I guess the latter and look to my own novel ‘Nemonymous Night’ (2011) to fight against a whole new breed of 1001 nights encapsulated in this the title of this Salman Rushdie’s book…

  9. –> Page 181

    So ends this section (DUNIA IN LOVE, AGAIN) and begins the next without having begun other than by reading its title (WITHIN THE CHINESE BOX,) and I have become determined to defeat this book with words (“A fairy king can only be poisoned by the most dreadful and powerful of words”) and so I reflect back at it to the rightimage a photograph of its own page of words, not a spoiler as such but a handy aide-memoire of what this section – (DUNIA IN LOVE, AGAIN) and again and again – has all been about, the gardener Geronimo a few feet off the ground in interface with the conundrum of fiction itself… For us, we only need to look at the rolling news on TV these days to know about the fantastic now fully embedded in the quotidian. This book is today’s avatar. I can give it no greater praise, even though I intend to destroy it with my own fiction: this the ultimate book review.

  10. –> Page 201

    “The idea that language was an infection from which the human race needed to recover, that speech was the source of all dissension, wrongdoing and character decay, that it was not as many had often declared the bedrock of liberty but rather the seedbed of violence, spread rapidly through the cottages of I.”

    The Chinese Box tells stories within stories endlessly, but we have the ongoing audit trail of Geronimo and his love story, and we are told that there is quotidian bedrock whence one should not lift into Fantastica, concentrate on cultivating the garden, and on the love story, reincarnations notwithstanding, or so I infer.
    Along this audit trail we visit a Ligottian Corporate Horror ambiance of towns called D. and I. (see above quote) and everywhere is the machine, the machine everywhere, manufacturing the future.
    Also squashed people by gravity in contrast to the earlier accretive levitation, and the concurrent real-time review HERE of the Father Brown stories where the conundrum of gravity plays a large part in the various solved crimes.
    With the love story endemic to this book, the need to reach basics away from this whole jinnery thing and the contention that language is an infection, I wonder if I should be using my book to battle with this book at all, but just letting it be for the sake of the love story that might outlast all the other frippery? Flay it of digressions? An invisible book now made pointless between Ibn Rushd and Ghazali?
    And the biggest digression of them all, quoting the quote below from this section as a link to another concurrent review (‘Skein and Bone’) HERE:
    “In the jinn world time does not so much pass as remain. It is human beings who are the prisoners of clocks, their time being painfully short. Human beings are cloud-shadows…”

  11. –> Page 221image

    IN WHICH THE TIDE BEGINS TO TURN

    “To recount a fantasy, a story of the imaginary, is also a way of recounting a tale about the actual. If this were not true the deed would be pointless, and we try in our daily lives to eschew pointlessness whenever possible.”

    This book is about the jinnternet.
    Keeping the madness tagged. Nobody can do justice to it, even with a dreamcatching real-time review like this one . Too many loose ends hanging between sky and lower world. Just read it for yourself.

    I will comment next when I have finished it.

  12. –> END
    Via EPILOGUE

    “As the calendar marched towards the thousandth day of the time of the strangenesses,…”

    Sometimes with fiction the reader needs to remain passive and not worry about actively seeking messages from the unfolding events, a sensibility which is part of the usual nature of my dreamcatching of books, I hope. This book needs an even more passive, non-preemptive approach, allowing the messages, after finishing the reading of the work, to create their own tapestry, before you even stand back to look at any gestalt. It is today’s events, I feel, as future history. A FOUNDATION trilogy as an Isis State or a Jinnternet made manifold till we can bottle it all up again, put the jinn back whence it came. Perhaps uniquely this major work reaches not a musical ‘dying fall’ but, in the Epilogue, a Voltairean DYING RISE, having pitted myth against myth, novel (his) against novel (mine), world war against workd war, author against author, Jinn against Jinn, with freewheeling smoke-signals regarding gender. A love story. A Blakean cosmogonic absurdity that transcends absurdity itself. “…the wormhole that joined the upper world to the lower,…”

    “But when you’re fighting monsters it’s good to have a few monsters on your side, too.”

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