Salman Rushdie’s short story inspired by Jean-Luc Godard
This Salman Rushdie love cinema is no secret. The (twice) Booker-winning author, who was recently stabbed before a speech in New York and is recovering, grew up in Bombay, the “world’s number one movie city”, as he calls it in a 1990 tribute to Satyajit Ray. in London Review of Books. The word “film” is mentioned 62 times in the manuscript of Midnight Children, the word “cinema” 26 times and “film” 11 times. The novel itself is heavily based on Rushdie’s own upbringing in the town of tinsel and follows rambunctious midnight child Saleem Sinai as he grows up in the city going to the movies “as often as possible”. [he] might” during Ramzan. In a November 2021 entry to his “Salman’s Sea of Stories” newsletter, Rushdie writes that No Time to Die was his first visit to the theater since the pandemic began – “and I was a twice a week guy” .
So it was an attempt to deal with this same pandemic that led to a Salman Rushdie publication that hasn’t received nearly the same fanfare as usual for any new work. The Seventh Wave is a 51-episode short story that the author has published weekly on his newsletter since September last year, with its 48th episode released five days before he was stabbed in New York.
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“The Seventh Wave…was partly a way of dealing with disaster, but also a tribute to the films that inspired me when I was young,” he wrote in a September 2021 entry, “and in particular to two masters of the French New. Wave or New Wave, Jean-Luc Godard and François Truffaut.
The original master of the French New Wave is dead and a modern master of magic realism is hospitalized. Rushdie quotes Godard twice in his newsletter before starting his short story: “A story must have a beginning, a middle and an end, but not necessarily in that order”, and “Movies are the most beautiful rip-off in the world”. va – The Seventh Wave, a tale inspired by the novels of Godard and Truffaut with their respective actress-muse-lovers, Anna Karina and Jeanne Moreau. The story is an imaginary relationship between a director named Francis and his actress-lover Anna.
Recognized by Rushdie himself, he deploys several cinematographic devices in this short story – a practice going back to Midnight Children, with terms like “long shots” prefixing many panoramic paragraphs – and in particular those of the French New Wave. Narrative techniques and a plethora of gangsters are also carried over from this movement.
So if you want to verbally feel the tone of the rebellious wave of cinema that today has lost its first rebel, read The Seventh Wave. And pray for the speedy recovery of its author to get the final soon.