Monday, 8 May 2017

City of Gods

In Britain, you could probably be prosecuted for blasphemy if you criticised Stephen Fry.

But the return of the subject of blasphemy to public debate, like the television adaptation of American Gods, comes just as I have been formulating one of my occasional ideas for a foray into fiction.

Now, don't worry. I can't write fiction. I have never managed more than a thousand words at any attempt, and I have never kept any of the material.

I do, however, have ideas for it from time to time. And I think that my latest one has something about it. I wouldn't mind if someone picked it up. So, darling Internet, here it is.

In their once-bustling temples amid the powerhouses of what has become the New Asia, deities used to being revered are finding themselves neglected.

So they move to where the religious action is. London.

Blue-skinned Krishna casually performing his miracles on the Tube, and that kind of thing. On the grounds that, let's face it, who would bat an eyelid?

Magic realism emerged in Latin America because its inhabitants' ancestors had largely found themselves confronted with flora and fauna, landscapes and weather, places and people, of the like of which they had never so much as heard tell.

The rest of those inhabitants' ancestors had been the people who had found themselves confronted with the first lot and with their ways, including their reactions to everything on the New Continent.

Before too long at all, absolutely anything had seemed par for the course. How very unlike the mind of the Old Continent. In those days. But not in these days.

Anyway, I have little clue what the plot would be, although I do have some thoughts about the gods ending up with mixed-race grandchildren who speak in that manner of London youths in the twenty-first century.

Oh, and at some point there has to be a restaurant dish called salmon rushdie. On that alone, if you don't comply, then I'll sue.

For, "Once upon a time there were Radha and Krishna, and Rama and Sita, and Laila and Majnu; also (because we were not unaffected by the West) Romeo and Juliet, and Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn."

As, of course, there still are. Only now, they are all everywhere.

In my time, I have been quite choice about Sir Salman. But I am going to re-read Midnight's Children this summer, in the run-up to the seventieth birthday of Saleem Sinai.

And then The Satanic Verses, although I stand by everything that I have said in the past about how Rushdie wrote it in order to make himself the most famous novelist in the world without having to write popular fiction in the ordinary sense of the term.

To be followed by The Moor's Last Sigh. Beloved, I have a terrible confession to make. I have never read The Moor's Last Sigh. But I will. I promise.

There is worse, though. Prepare to be shocked to your very core, and to wonder if you have ever really known me at all.

I am also going to be re-reading One Hundred Years of Solitude. To be followed by Love in the Time of Cholera. For the first time.

Despite the fact that you now know that I am more or less unlettered, trust me on City of Gods. It's a good idea. It just needs a good writer of fiction.

Over to you.


  1. In some parts, criticising either David Lindsay or the Duke of Edinburgh, is considered blasphemous.

  2. This is a whole other side of you, Mr. Lindsay.