“Now I say to myself: he was 68, he had a wonderful family, he saw his children grown up and had huge happiness and pride in them, he leaves us his work, he has touched and influenced millions of people across the world and, in the end, death comes for each and every one of us. But it brings no comfort.” Ahdaf Soueif on the passing of Edward Said.
“Said would weary of the need to repeat the Palestinian story, the importance of denouncing the old lies – one of them, which especially enraged him, was the myth that Arab radio stations had called upon the Palestinian Arabs of 1948 to abandon their homes in the new Israeli state – but he would repeat, over and over again, the importance of re-telling the tale of Palestinian tragedy.” Robert Fisk in The Independent. (More reports.)
Ten pounds and long-lasting fame: Prospect magazine on the Prix Goncourt.
Plagiarism rears its ugly head again, or maybe not. Arturo Perez-Reverte is in the dock, charged with ripping off a screenplay. “Both films are dark thrillers set in the world of Spanish gypsies and flamenco music. Both start with the protagonist being released from prison, after being turned over to police or framed by a foreign music producer, says one expert’s report. The lives of both protagonists are then wrecked by wives or partners who cheat on them, and also fall in love with beautiful young flamenco promises, both called Lola.”
Hmm. This reminds the Babu of Gerald Durrell’s tale of listening to tangos on the radio. What does the song mean, he asks a friend. The friend says that the singer’s wife has left him, he is broke, he is feeling suicidal and he asks the meaning of life. Oh, says Durrell. They listen to the next tango. And this, asks Durrell? The singer, says his friend, is very sad, his woman has left him, and he asks the meaning of life. Ah, says Durrell. The next tango comes on. He looks at his friend. The same, says the friend tersely.
More risibly, a Hollywood producer has sued Fox, accusing the studio of stealing his idea of a team of Victorian super-heroes for LXG. As the Bookslut, where the Babu found the link, points out, they’re not suing Alan Moore, in whose infernal brain the League was born, and that’s probably because they’d be laughed out of every court in the land if they tried it.
The Spirit That Cannot Be Defined But That Is Everywhere: (no, really, the Babu just discovered courtesy a copy of the Brahmo wedding ceremony translated into English that this is the officially approved nomenclature.). Anyway. The STCBDBTIE, or alternately, the Lord, knows that the Babu has his problems with the Believer’s manifesto, but one thing that’s working out pretty nicely is their Ideashare page. Manjula Padmanabhan had tried to start something like this a while back, but the Babu can’t find the page. If anyone knows the site/ URL, send it to Kitabkhana, please.
Rushdie on Naipaul–again. From the Deccan Chronicle: “In reference to Naipaul’s characterisation of Hindu nationalism as a great creative force in India, [Rushdie] regretted that Sir Vidia’s words were being usurped by fundamentalist elements for their own purposes. “He is not a fanatic, but when a Nobel laureate makes remarks like that they get magnified. Xerox copies of it are being used as a recruiting tool because these become useful words and he becomes a useful Nobel fool,” Rushdie said during a Christie’s fundraiser here on Tuesday night.”