Midnight's Children

Allen Thrasher athr at loc.gov
Tue Nov 21 22:13:16 UTC 1995

It seems pretty clear Rushdie is influenced not only by the Indic katha 
tradition but also by the Thousand Nights and a Night.  See the following 
from Robert Irwin, The Arabian Nights: A Companion (London, New York, 
etc.: Allen Lane, The Penguin Press, 1994, p. 289-90:

"Salman Rushdie, asked on the BBC radion programme Desert Island Disks 
what book (apart from the Bible and Shakespeare) he would have with him 
on his island, chose the Nights, but Rushdie has discovered in this, his 
favourite book something different again from what Borges and Barth 
found.  Rushdie's Nights represents an alternative tradition in Islamic 
literature, something to be set against the dour decrees of the mullahs 
of the Middle East and the dictators of the Indian subcontinent.  
References to the Nights abound in all of Rushdie's books. [There follow 
examples from Midnight's Children and the Satanic Verses.] Finally, 
Rushdie's intertextual children's book, Haroun and the Sea of Stories 
(1990), sports with both the Nights and the Ocean of Story...."

(As we can see from the title--AT)

Allen Thrasher

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