Rushdie & TarantinoIt struck me that there were quite a few similarities in the artistic outputs of Salman Rushdie and Quentin Tarantino. For starters, both have boldly broken quite a few of the rules of the arts of storytelling, emphasising the visual elements to a large degree. They have experimented with, twisted, re-defined, revitalised the syntactical structures of their respective media. In doing so, they've shown a devil-may-care attitude as to whether audiences will be able to fully comprehend the manic visions that are embedded in the novels and films they produce. Both are highly conscious of the history of their art forms and are also aware of the condition of the human race. The novels and movies are extremely referential, with direct (and sometimes roundabout) homage being paid to their personal inspirations. Tarantino and Rushdie have a preoccupation with words - dialogues and expressed thoughts are extensive and purposeful, though it is not always easy to get their drift. Incidentally, both have used non-linear narratives with great dexterity and the multitude of characters dotting the artistic landscapes have been a key feature that differentiates them from their peers. Also contributing to their USPs is the fact that they are often not very politically correct and cover the most basest human actions and tendencies.
My personal reactions to their respective ouevres has been coincidentally similar (which raised my interest in putting them side by side for similarities). I read The Moor's Last Sigh and couldn't quite come to terms with the wringing of conventional fictional frameworks, and the fantastic sequence of events coupled with references to reality. Reservoir Dogs evoked a reaction in which I couldn't see past the copious volumes of violence and the minds of people far-removed from the kinds that I'd experienced so far. Midnight's Children and The Satanic Verses, Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill Vol I. changed my outlook towards them - I wouldn't pretend to having understood all they have created, but atleast this time, I could see a little of what they were trying to pull off in terms of the actual art forms. My admiration for their radical methods employed in their creations has consequently increased leading to an interest in read what others have to say on them. Their personalities are such that their films and books always evoke reactions, positive or negative, so there is no dearth of commentary. Most of all, I admire them for their courage, in daring to invest their lives in doing the things they want in the way they want, not being overly concerned if those would make sense to the public (and the critics). That alone in my mind makes them geniuses - for the willingness to hack out a new path is not possessed by the talented but frail-hearted practitioner.
I recently read a full analysis on Rushdie where the author D.C.R.A. Goonetilleke suggest various reasons why Rushdie is a practitioner of post-modernism. If that is true, Tarantino must be a post-modernist artist, though the timescale of cinema is not the same as that of the written novel.