Friday, June 11, 2010

Fiction protecting us from "fantasy news"?

I have heard of books being an outlet, of books being a political tool, and of books being the best way to explore the psychology of the day, but here's something I haven't heard before.

In this article, writer Salman Rushdie claims that books are a way to avoid the "fantasy news" of today's world.  Think about that for a second.  Books a way to avoid the fantastical world we live in.  Interesting, no?   Here's what he has to say about it:
"The world has become so surrealist that it may be that the surrealist of literature may be the best response to it," Salman Rushdie said.
Increasingly, he said, the news is filled with the trivial happenings of pseudo superstars and the infidelities of athletes and politicians. Neither newspapers nor television can resist it, he said. "The news is no longer realistic. The world has become a kind of fantasy."

I suppose to an extent I understand what he is talking about.  When you think about what most people are reading -- smutty magazines (that, I'll admit, I, too, enjoy upon occasion) discussing which movie star is having an affair -- and what most people are viewing -- the latest TV drama or even the news, which focuses on the "sensational" pieces -- I suppose even the most unrealistic novel in comparison can be considered to tell more about reality than anything else.

What are your thoughts on the matter?