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This interview is taken from PN Review 66, Volume 15 Number 4, March - April 1989.

Interview with Salman Rushdie Roger Burford Mason

Roger Burford Mason: Reading The Satanic Verses, one is struck by the immense range of the narrative, by the wit, the intriguing and lightly-worn arcana. Did you enjoy writing it as much as I enjoyed reading it?

Salman Rushdie: Thank you. I'm glad you enjoyed it. In fact, the answer is no, until the very end, because one of the reasons why it took so long to write was that I wanted very much, although it's this huge, complex thing, that it should read very fluidly - as if the things were coming in a natural succession - and for a long time I couldn't get it right. Probably for the first four years of this five-year enterprise I was feeling variously panicked and optimistic that I had, or hadn't, hit the right note somehow and then really at the beginning of last year, which is when I started writing the draft which is now the book, I suddenly got the sense that I'd finally managed to pitch it right and from that moment on it became much more enjoyable because I could feel the momentum building in it, and that it was going in the direction I'd like.

RBM: It really takes off. The momentum builds so quickly.

SR: That's what I hoped would happen. It seems to me that that's one thing in a way you have to offer the reader, to get through a book like this.

RBM: ...


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