The Golden House – Salman Rushdie

golden house

O terceiro livro do ano foi um que estava ainda no Kindle velho e que tinha que fazer a crítica para o Netgalley. Além disso, apesar de só ter lido um livro dele, Salman Rushdie é um excelente escritor, daqueles que pegam numa história aparentemente normal e a revestem de camada após camada de transcendência, contemporaneidade, urbanidade. É um habitante do tempo presente, com as suas nuances sociopolíticas, e isso permeia a sua escrita.

Este livro é mais um reflexo disso mesmo. Passado em Nova Iorque, na América de Obama, conta-nos a história de um pai e os seus 3 filhos que se vieram refugiar dum passado misterioso na sua Índia natal. A história é contada por um narrador que era um jovem vizinho estudante de cinema, e que vai usar os acontecimentos conturbados deste exílio num guião dum filme.

E assim desde o início sabemos que a história vai correr mal, mas não como nem com quem. E também nem sempre é linear a distinção entre a “realidade” dos nossos personagens e a ficção criada pelo narrador e isso mantém-nos sempre alerta e em tensão.

Tudo isto envolvido numa escrita belíssima, às vezes quase poética. O livro vai todo ele num crescendo que acompanha também a evolução da história recente americana. O final do mandato de Obama, a campanha eleitoral surreal que culmina com a eleição de Trump (aqui brilhantemente equiparado ao Joker), fazendo de Nova Iorque à vez uma Gotham City ou uma Metropolis. O livro está ricamente recheado de referências literárias e cinematográficas, que muitas vezes senti que a minha mente era demasiado pequena para abarcar, mas estava maravilhosamente escrito, envolvente, e eu recomendo seriamente a todos aqueles que, como eu, gostem de usar livros de ficção como veículos para pensar sobre a nossa realidade e actualidade. Deixo-vos com alguns extractos para terem um vislumbre daquilo que lá podem encontrar.

Goodreads Review

Boas leituras!

 

“When I’m done with a book,” she said, “it is also done with me and
moves on. I leave it on a bench in Columbus Park. Maybe the Chinese
people playing cards or Go won’t want my book, the nostalgic
Chinese bowing mournfully at the statue of Sun Yat-sen, but there
are the couples coming out of City Hall with their wedding licenses
and stars in their eyes, wandering for a minute among the cyclists
and the kids, smiling with the knowledge of their newly licensed
love, and I imagine they might like to discover the book, as a gift
from the city to mark their special day, or the book may like to
discover them. In the beginning I was just giving books away. I got
a new book, I gave away an old one. I always keep just seven. But
then I began to find that others were leaving books where I had
left mine and I thought, these are for me. So now I replenish my
library with the random gifts of unknown strangers and I never know
what I will read next, I wait for the homeless books to call out:
you, reader, you are for me. I do not choose what I read anymore. I
am wandering through the discarded stories of the city.”

 

It was a year of two bubbles. In one of those bubbles, the Joker
shrieked and the laugh-track crowds laughed right on cue. In that
bubble the climate was not changing and the end of the Arctic
icecap was just a new real estate opportunity. In that bubble, gun
murderers were exercising their constitutional rights but the
parents of murdered children were un-American. In that bubble, if
its inhabitants were victorious, the president of the neighboring
country to the south which was sending rapists and killers to
America would be forced to pay for a wall dividing the two nations
to keep the killers and rapists south of the border where they
belonged; and crime would end; and the country’s enemies would be
defeated instantly and overwhelmingly; and mass deportations would
be a good thing; and women reporters would be seen to be unreliable
because they had blood coming out of their whatevers; and the
parents of dead war heroes would be revealed to be working for
radical Islam; and international treaties would not have to be
honored; and Russia would be a friend and that would have nothing
whatsoever to do with the Russian oligarchs propping up the Joker’s
shady enterprises; and the meanings of things would change;
multiple bankruptcies would be understood to prove great business
expertise; and three and a half thousand lawsuits against you would
be understood to prove business acumen; and stiffing your
contractors would prove your tough-guy business attitude; and a
crooked university would prove your commitment to education; and
while the Second Amendment would be sacred the First would not be;
so those who criticized the leader would suffer consequences; and
African Americans would go along with it all because what the hell
did they have to lose. In that bubble knowledge was ignorance, up
was down, and the right person to hold the nuclear codes in his
hand was the green-haired white-skinned red-slash-mouthed giggler
who asked a military briefing team four times why using nuclear
weapons was so bad. In that bubble, razor-tipped playing cards were
funny, and lapel flowers that sprayed acid into people’s faces were
funny, and wishing you could have sex with your daughter was funny,
and sarcasm was funny even when what was called sarcasm was not
sarcastic, and lying was funny, and hatred was funny, and bigotry
was funny, and bullying was funny, and the date was, or almost was,
or might soon be, if the jokes worked out as they should, nineteen
eighty-four.

 

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