Salman Rushdie: 'If I'm not finding something out in the act of writing, it's not good enough'

At last week's AGO Creative Minds conversation on art and truth, the award-winning author spoke about how finding truth is a process of discovery for an artist.

The award-winning author spoke about how finding truth is a process of discovery for an artist

(CBC Arts)

At last week's AGO Creative Minds — which brought together four influential artists for a conversation about art and truth in tumultuous times — award-winning author Salman Rushdie spoke about the journey of discovery as a crucial element of art and his work in particular.

"The discovery for the artist is the first place where truth happens, and it's very often a truth that is surprising to the maker," he said. "For me, if I'm not finding something out in the act of writing, it's not good enough."

Watch the video:

At last week's AGO Creative minds conversation on art and truth, the award-winning author spoke about how finding truth is a process of discovery for an artist. 1:14

During AGO Creative Minds, Rushdie explained how he envies the instant engagement some artists have with their audiences. "I think the direct engagement that happens when you sing to an audience or when there's a drama or when there's a movie or when there's a piece of performance art...you have a direct, immediate interaction with the audience and you can see what's happening between the two of you."

The discovery for the artist is the first place where truth happens, and it's very often a truth that is surprising to the maker. For me, if I'm not finding something out in the act of writing, it's not good enough.- Salman Rushdie

By contrast, in Rushdie's medium — the novel — the relationship with the audience is more of a private one and that has its advantages. "A novel is slower and more private," he explained. "When it does have an impact, it goes very deep because the imagination of the writer and the imagination of the reader join inside the reader's head."

The bigger conversation Rushdie was a part of at AGO Creative Minds examined art's place in exposing the truth in the age of fake new and filter bubbles. Rushdie was joined by thought provoking performance artist Andrea Fraser, award-winning filmmaker Charles Officer and Juno-nominated musician IsKwé.

Watch the full conversation now:

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.