Salman Rushdie: 'If I'm not finding something out in the act of writing, it's not good enough'
The award-winning author spoke about how finding truth is a process of discovery for an artist
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."
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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.