Clark's exploration of Rushdie's novels works on at least three levels. First, he clarifies and interprets Rushdie's often puzzling references to figures such as Loki and Shiva, settings such as the mountains of Qaf and Kailasa, and experiences such as the annihilation of the self and the temptations of the Muslim Devil, Iblis. Second, he demonstrates how otherworldy motifs work with or against each other, fusing or clashing with Dantean, Shakespearean, and other literary forms to create hybrid characters, plots, and themes. Finally, he argues that Rushdie's brutal assault on tradition and taboo is mitigated by his secular idealism and his subtle homage to mystical ideals of the past. This novel interpretation, which presents Rushdie's first five novels as a heterogeneous yet consistent body of work, will challenge and delight not only Rushdie scholars but anyone interested in comparative religion and mythology, iconoclasm, and the interplay of Western and Eastern literary forms.
Contents: Introduction: The sacred and the profane and the diabolic Grimus: Infinite dimensions Midnights Children: The road from Kashmir Shame: An other world strikes back The Satanic Verses: Dreamscapes of a green-eyed monster Conclusion: Sea changes