Victory City

I picked up Salmon Rushdie’s latest book Victory City. It sat there a week while I did other things and sometimes looked at it and thought it probably isn’t going to grab me or it will be too much to understand or probably not as amazing as the others by him. I started two days ago. Pow, right in the kisser as they used to say. I was gone from the opening sentence, “On the last day of her life, when she was two hundred and forty-seven years old, the blind poet miracle worker of Kampana, completed her immense narrative poem about Bisnarka and buried it in a clay pot sealed with wax in the heart of the ruined royal enclosure as a message to the future.” I heard a woman at the open stage named Melissa who hit me in the same way, who sung A Strange Boy by Joni Mitchell with the authority of an obsessive fan but who also has the goods. Her controlled vibrato was one of a kind, shocking in the same way Astrid Gilberto’s opposite sound, a waveless easy purity stuns on contact. Going to see a film at Hot Docs about a retired man in Finland who identifies with cougars but I selected it for the opening short which is about Psilocybin not because I’m seeking details but my pal, the doctor, is a micro dosing aficionado and I thought he would be amused. There is a legacy of doctors and hallucinogens if I am not mistaken dating back to the Beatles and Dr. Robert, Freud, Timothy Leary and who could forget Dr. Hoffman’s first Swiss bicycle trip. I feel like a kid hearing Rumplestiltskin for the first time but I am not in a kid’s body. Definitely this week a drug-like experience reading Victory City.

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