Rushdie: What They Were Thinking
According to the article I cited in “Clueless Brit-Lits,” Jonathan Heawood, director of the London chapter of PENInternational, was a key lobbyist for Rushdie’s knighthood. Take a look at Heawood’s latest comments on the Rushdie affair (and compare them to his comments in the original Guardian article about why Rushdie was granted a knighthood).
The opening paragraph on what the response to the Rushdie knighthood might have been is obviously an only slightly exaggerated version of what Heawood and the others were hoping for. Heawood is now claiming that “no-one expected” actual dancing in the streets. But it’s clear that he and his compatriots were in fact expecting a slightly more subdued version of the fantasy response he lays out. If you want to know what the folks who gave Rushdie his knighthood were actually thinking, the first paragraph of Heawood’s piece is more or less it. And as I argued in “Clueless Brit-Lits,” it reveals the mad post-modernist fantasy-land the British left (and especially the American academic left) now inhabit.