Salman Rushdie on his literary influences

Recently Emory University posted an extremely insightful interview with Salman Rushdie on YouTube. In the clip below, he talks about the influence Shakespeare has on him. What I love about it though, is that unlike most people who simply cite Shakespeare in a very general way and leave it at that, Rushdie goes more in depth and dissects Hamlet. And now I can grin a little bit, since Hamlet has always been my favourite Shakespeare play by far! I hadn’t realised exactly why before, but Rushdie pretty much nails it. Watch and listen…

Read more about Salman Rushdie and find out what he has to say about some of his other favourites: Gabriel García Márquez, Thomas Pynchon and James Joyce, amongst others.

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4 Comments on “Salman Rushdie on his literary influences”


  1. “Hamlet sort of works.” Gotta love it.
    Ever heard of the legendary dinner conversation where Rushdie reportedly rattled off Shakespeare play titles if they’d been written by Robert Ludlum (the Bourne Series,etc.)?

    Someone suggested “Hamlet,” and without missing a beat Rushdie said, “The Elsinore Vacillation.”

    “Romeo and Juliet!” “The Capulet Infatuation.”

    “Othello!” “The Kerchief Imputation.”

    And so on.

  2. infloox Says:

    Was this from his dinner with Thomas Pynchon? Do you have a link referencing this dinner convo? It sounds hilarious yet informative at the same time!


  3. It was actually with his friend Christopher Hitchens, who mentioned this party game in a Weekly Standard article of his:

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/004/269kenvl.asp

    (Rereading it, I realize that “The Capulet Infatuation” wasn’t included and might have been invented by somebody else along the way.)

  4. infloox Says:

    haha he’s a good sport! I read through that article and had a good laugh – he usually pretends to come across as rather serious, but if you watch/read some of his interviews carefully, you’ll see that he’s got a wickedly sharp sense of humour! 🙂


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