The Limited Times

Now you can see non-English news...

Salman Rushdie's Victory City: The Power of Words


Salman Rushdie's new novel "Victory City" is now available in German. It is the writer's first publication since the stabbing he suffered in August 2022.

Salman Rushdie's new novel "Victory City" is now available in German.

It is the writer's first publication since the stabbing he suffered in August 2022.

Finally he has returned.

On the (literary) world stage, which after the assassination last August is anything but a matter of course.

However, Salman Rushdie has also returned as a narrator, namely to India.

He was born in 1947 in Bombay, which has long been known as Mumbai;

the 1981 novel “Midnight Children” not only marked his breakthrough as a writer: in it, Rushdie also celebrated the country he left for England at the age of 14 as the home of the imagination.

The author shows how enormous their power is in his work "Victory City"

(Salman Rushdie: "Victory City". From the English by Bernhard Robben. Penguin, Munich, 416 p.; 26 euros.)

, Thursday (April 20, 2023) in German.

Salman Rushdie returns to India in Victory City

Pampa Kampana, Rushdie's protagonist, needs little more than a handful of seeds and a few well thought-out life stories for the inhabitants to create a city and its people in southern India in the 14th century from nothing: Bisnaga, the "Victory City", which dem The book gives its title and we will now follow its growth and decay well into the 16th century.


Attack on the open stage: Salman Rushdie is first aided by helpers after the assassination attempt on August 12, 2022 in the US state of New York.

© Joshua Goodman/afp/dpa

Kampana is a nine-year-old orphan when the story begins: she's there when her mother, along with all the women of the previous empire, collectively commit suicide after the men's defeat in a battle (an "insignificant" one, Rushdie doesn't fail to note).

This mass incineration, which is described in a few haunting sentences, digs deep into the soul of the girl.

It is then chosen by a goddess to be her body and mouthpiece - to ensure equality between the sexes henceforth, so that "men learn to see women with new eyes".

It is actually a wonderfully readable emancipation story that Rushdie unfolds here, among other things (and whose setbacks he does not hide).

Joyfully and mockingly, he likes to portray the lords of creation as somewhat stupid and not only shows that "there was no trade that only men could practice", but much more.

The humorous, tongue-in-cheek tone of these passages alternates with detailed descriptions of tricky intrigues, bloody scenes of battles and philosophical aspects of human existence.

This variety of styles makes reading varied and also exciting from a literary point of view.


The aftermath of the assassination: Rushdie has been blind in one eye since an extremist attacked him with a knife;

in addition, there is a lack of feeling in some fingers.

© Salman Rushdie/Twitter

The historical basis of the novel is the history of the Hindu kingdom of Vijayanagar and its capital of the same name, which translates as "City of Victory".

Here Rushdie discovered developments, ruling families and war campaigns, which he used for his fictional Bisnaga.

In doing so, he manages to tell a completely contemporary story.

And when he describes disputes, for example between clerical fanatics and those forces who want to keep religion out of politics, or when he reports on the time when Kampana's utopia of peaceful coexistence in Bisnaga was a reality, then "Victory City" is not least a comment on our world.

An indication of our possibilities and the dangers that threaten.

The fatwa against Salman Rushdie has not been withdrawn

This magically dazzling, but always reality-conscious text is interwoven with Rushdie's belief in the power of fantasy and stories.

He carries the narrative - and its heroine.

Because as Pampa Kampana turns onto the home straight of her 247-year life (thank the goddess!), she has to observe how intolerance, hatred, stupidity and brutality dominate the city - and even in front of her, the founder, does not stop: Blinded thinks her comfort and motivation in writing.

With that, however, Salman Rushdie has also come back to himself and his life, which has been threatened since Khomeini issued a fatwa against the author of The Satanic Verses in 1989, which is still valid – and which on August 12, 2022 almost expired would have fulfilled.

But the writer remains convinced: "Words are the only winners."

Source: merkur

All life articles on 2023-04-21

You may like

Life/Entertain 2023-04-21T05:35:07.657Z
Life/Entertain 2023-04-28T09:44:22.322Z
News/Politics 2023-05-03T09:34:15.507Z

Trends 24h

Life/Entertain 2023-10-01T11:32:10.316Z


© Communities 2019 - Privacy

The information on this site is from external sources that are not under our control.
The inclusion of any links does not necessarily imply a recommendation or endorse the views expressed within them.