Doncha just love him
He must be my favourite living writer in the English language... barring the Americans... Phillip Roth and Toni Morrison and even Tom tossy Wolfe
Last time i was in India i read three of his, Shalimar, The Ground, The Moor’s... and loved them... Shalimar the most ... [the writing]... and i’m motoring through the Enchantress of Florence, which is his latest
And you know what i think?
I think, HOORAH... its Salman and he’s off again
but i also think, O BLOODY HELL, its Salman and he’s off again
O bloody hell, he’s off again on some beautifully measured flights of lyrical fancy, and its great and i love him but, but, but, doncha just wish that he would calm down a bit?
Cos why does everything have to be so up, why can’t anyone be normal? why do they all have to be so bloody extraordinary?.... O there’s an enchanter and he’s the most amazing enchanter there ever was, and o there’s a woman and she’s the most beautiful woman in all of Asia, and there’s a scent shop and o, its full of the most wonderful and treasured and afewmoreadjective scents giving Salman any unneeded excuse to rattle off another long and marvellously written list of the ingredients of medieval perfumes
Which he probably did in his last book, or was that stuffed animals, or alchemists tools, or, whatever?
Whatever, who cares. Its Salman and its always marvellous.
But o, there’s a temple builder so he’s the best temple builder there ever was... you get my drift?
And o, there’s an engraver and, you know what, he’s the most amazing engraver you can imagine there ever was without using adjectives
He knows so much, that Salman, the knowledge keeps coming at you till you’re awash in a lyrical delirium extending for as long as his ever-extending semi-ecstatic sentences... and he either does know a hell of a lot or he’s brilliant at making it seem like he does... Probably both
Cos i don’t know if Salman has ever had a character of an Egyptian Observer of the Royal Bowel Movement but, if he did, the royal priest’s mother would have been the most beautiful and enchanting woman in all of Egypt, his father used to make the clouds scatter purely by opening his mouth and letting out the lyrical beauty he was famed for in twelve continents in his youth but which unique gift he lost when he fell in love with the most beautiful glassblower ever, ever, who etc etc, and his sisters would weave the most perfect carpets ever heard of anywhere ever, ever, which began as childish art, curiously mimicking every known style of cave painting ever, ever, about which of course Salman seems to knows everything, so much so he can make knowledgeable jokes about it in a way which even ignorami like us can get, but which tapestries became Egyptian with puberty, Greek perspective with marriage and which, amazingly, foretold every artform there ever was and ever could be, ever and ever, so there,
O Salman, you are the dog’s bollocks but can’t you just calm down a bit and write something more imaginatively restrained in that beautiful matchless style of yours?
Not all the time, heaven forbid, and long may you live, and many books may you write, and prosper may you err do, but just once, less lists and less bloody superlatives...
A very long list of all the words which have ever meant please in every language there ever was, kind of please...