James Walton

Has Salman Rushdie become his own pastiche?

If he were less distinguished, an editor might have risked the words ‘You need to lose around 80 pages, Salman’

The goddess Parvati in a Pahari painting of 1785. Her spirit enters into Pampa Kampana, giving her magical gifts. [The Archer Collection/Alamy]

If there were ever a Spectator competition for the best pastiche of the opening words of a Salman Rushdie novel, a pretty good entry might be: ‘On the last day of her life, when she was two hundred and forty-seven years old, the blind poet, miracle worker and prophetess Pampa Kampana completed her immense narrative poem about Bisnaga.’

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