Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The storytelling animal

Ovid is clearly a poet interested in the power of myth and magic -- and were he alive today, he'd doubtless be curious about video games. Salman Rushdie has written tales about the power of imagination and the limitations of mortality for his children, and talks about them in this charming interview, from the radio show entitled To the Best of our Knowledge.

At one point he suggests that Zeus and other ancient divinities have been relegated to "some kind of retirement home for ex-gods."

"I think it's a mistake to think the real world is devoid of magic," says Rushdie, In the games of his new book, Luka and the Fire of Life, life is cheap and plentiful. In the real world, it is dear and rare. Somehow we inhabit both worlds. Rushdie adds, "Man alone is the storytelling animal."

Salman Rushdie on "Luka and the Fire of Life"
Salman Rushdie's life has been a fantasy, but not necessarily in the way he would have wanted.  The Ayatollah issued a death warrant on him after his book "The Satanic Verses," but it has finally been withdrawn. His new book involves dangers of a more literary kind. He tells Jim Fleming he wrote his new book "Luka and the Fire of Life" at his younger son's request.

The short podcast of the interview is well worth listening to. As we are seeing, he power of stories is very much at the heart of the Metamorphoses as well.

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