Value in Victory City

Started reading Salman Rushdie’s latest Victory City during the past week away in Sevilla. But for various reasons didn’t get much concentrated reading time and and am only part-way into Part 2 of 4. It’s very good on so many levels and I want to continue with proper attention and concentration. As a novel, I’m reading it for what it is and not note-taking as I read, so I will have to do another pass to pick-up the references I’m going to need.

As well as the historical / mythical story, it is full of wit and practical philosophy from existence, meaning, creation, naming and reality to gender and sex roles. Striking for me, given my own writing project, is how to deal with the long time-scale in a narrative over many generations. In my own case I have a 200+ year timeline from early 1800’s to the present and I’ve been struggling with first-person and/or witness perspective to “narrate” the story. Rushdie’s heroine lives over 250 years which creates some very interesting problems for aging and relationships with other human characters. Also some reliance on the author’s summaries of earlier narrative by the heroine herself and even heads-up references to things that will happen long before they do. Clever. Fascinating inspiration.

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