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January 28, 2023

Rushdie – pop-cult star at Odeon

Salman Rushdie met his readers on Tuesday evening within the Odeon Theater at an event that presented him in a rather ‘cool’ image of pop-culture character. After reading fragments from his ‘The Enchantress of Florence’ novel he talked about superheroes and politics.

The surprising and funny questions coming from the audience drew water to Rushdie’s mill, the writer joking continuously on various themes, including the death sentence that Iran issued against him twenty years ago for his book ‘The Satanic Verses.’ ‘I don’t want to say too much about my dispute with Ayatollah Khomeini, I only want to say I’m not the dead one,’ Rushdie said.

In what concerns the moment he wrote ‘The Satanic Verses,’ he stated that he did not imagine that the book will be politically interpreted. ‘I thought that the risk is an artistic one,’ he said. Back then Rushdie thought that ‘The Satanic Verses’ is less political in nature than the books before it. ‘A good review from Ayatollah Khomeini is worse than a bad review from Ayatollah Khomeini,’ he added. When asked what the novel that he dislikes the most is, he named ‘Grimus,’ which unfortunately turned out to be the name of the Cluj-based band that wrapped the evening.

Salman Rushdie had a triumphant entry in Bucharest’s Odeon Theater. His fans waited for him for ten minutes. During that time Florin Iaru, the meeting’s moderator, told stories and the fans that had just managed to get through the security filters at the entrance felt like they were in a plane waiting to take off. Rushdie’s fans were able to write questions for the author, with their questions ending up on the author’s table. Some of the questions managed to take the writer by surprise. After reading a question in verses Rushdie exclaimed: ‘Wow, I have a very intellectual public this evening.’ ‘How would you describe yourself in a dictionary of contemporary writers?’ Rushdie read a note, smiling. ‘A very good writer. Read all of his works all at once,’ he answered.

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