Tag Archives: freedom

Joseph Anton – Salman Rushdie

I can understand the need of Rushdie to write such a memoir after what he had experienced.

Frankly speaking, I am not a great fan of his books: I started to read “The Moor’s last sight” but I did not manage to get the end. Too difficult for me, I lack English-based culture and a lot of foreign references. And although I do not particularly like authors and comedians who tease religions but… you cannot kill people for this!

In this memoir Rushdie is astonished by the journalistic attack and fact that his book Satanic Verses is considered as an insult, and not as a literature piece, as if he had writter hundred of pages just with the aim to tease the prophet.

But I think that such a memoir is rather repeating: you cannot write all those trials to collect political support, because at the end all those names, all those back and forth become boring. I know that you have to let the reader understand what you have been through, but once you said that “reading is about joy”, and I assure you that 649 pages on this matter are too many.

On the other hand, I loved the parts where he described his meeting with other writers: Christopher Hitchens, A. Roy, Susan Sontag, Paul Auster, H. Pinter, Nadine Gordimer, and many, many others. I mean: I do not find people who read books, and there you see a group of people who write books!

In general, this memoir balances itself between resentment against people and institutions and newspapers that did not support him during the fatwa period, and love for people who helped him. Sometimes, between the lines, I thought to read too much resentment, as if the memoir was a broad road to take his revenge, a place where he could express his point of view against the haters. I can understand it, although I did not like it.

So: an interesting memoir. But let me utter my tip to the author: please be quiet with young and nice-looking girls. I am talking about his last wife, Padma, the model. How can such an intellectual loose all his mind on a woman who has nothing in commong with him on a literature level? (Although I think that we should also listen to her version of the story, I do not think that such a beauty goes very deep with her readings..)

No matter how many books you read: if you have not born wonderful, you have no chance to become a friend of any of your literature heros. Maybe you can meet them at a book event, but they forget you, if you are not like Padma or Elizabeth. This is the lesson that I go on receiving.

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Filed under authobiographies, Indian writers, Libri & C.

Happy Growth – Francesco Morace

imageThe idea that growth is dangerous, that it will ruin our environment, that it will transform us in stubborn and brainless consumers, that it will get an implosion point, is nowadays more than a fashion: it seems to be a duty.

Francesco Morace, sociologist, writer and journalists who has studied market trends since several years, tells us that growth is not a seven-heads-monster. Growth is not only physiological, but necessary. We only need to change paradigm and understand that we cannot go on reasoning in terms of luxury, richness and quantity increase.

The new paradigm cannot rely on usual success concept. Success is not happiness, richness doesn’t mean happiness. Status symbols are changing: more and more experiences are based on the idea of excellence, not luxury.
More than this: some new happy behaviours are growing, trust & sharing, coworking, farmer markets… they are all symptoms of a new way to buy, based on trust and gift logic.
Happiness is less consumistic and more emotional, so Morace.

Do I agree with him? Well, of course, when eh says that paradigms changes are very slow! I just do the devil’s advocate…

Let’s see consumption: it can be a freedom act, says Morace. Consumer can become a consum-author, he says.
Yes, in my opinion too, a consumistic society is better than a sharia-based society, but I still know too many ladies who, when they feel blue, need to go out for shopping. Well, this is not properly my idea of freedom. And, in my opinion, there still are too many (my Good, really too many) fashion shops in the department stores. Too many horrible fashion shops. While libraries are closing.

Let’s look at Facebook and other social networks. Yes, true, they are very useful when they help programming social meetings or some sociological movements. But give a look to standard Facebook user: give a look to the intelligence level of his sharings and comments. He put more attention on abandomned kitten and dogs instead of war refugees or war corpses. Social networks – at the moment – do not push reasoning, they just push emotions. With their pro and cons.

Let’s look at the health systems: in my opinion we are putting too much attention to the technological side of the service (how to reserve a visit through Internet, for instance, or how to increase pills market), while neither social networks nor the official health system is focusing on the strong side of the matter: prevention (through healthy diets and excercise, mainly, but here I am a little partial, with my vegan view…). I just hope that the USA will play the captain role, here, considering the current efforts of Obama’s administration.

Last comment: I love the cover photo of this book. Let’s consume, but let’s do it in an intelligent way, it seems to say. Do not waste the peel of the orange, you could recycle it.
For instance, in a Christmas Tree decoration:-)

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