Sunday, July 20, 2008

Hey, how many books did you sign?

Of course, it is one of those trivia. I should not have written about it. But it involves one of our real writers, and I kind of reacted. So I can’t help write it.

On one occasion during his recent promotional tour for his latest novel, Salman Rushdie signed as many as 1000 books in 57 minutes. All very well for someone who looms bigger with his new writing success. But the galling thing is, Rushdie has begun bragging about it. He went so far as to write a letter to The Guardian that he has made a signing record with this, beating Malcolm Gluck, the wine writer, who signed 1,001 copies in 59 minutes in 1998.

Gluck questioned about the veracity of this claim. Did Rushdie put in his intials, he queried. Rushdie quickly added: Let me be clear. I didn’t initial the books, but signed my full name.

So, here’s the controversy, and please join in!

I tried to do a little math, but soon gave up on it realizing it was a waste of time. Does it really matter if somebody signs his name in just about 3.42 seconds or less? It’s absolute rubbish. We did such competitions in our school days.

I wish Rushdie had not bragged about it at all. Not only was it in bad taste, it also spoke unfavorably about his persona.


kimbofo said...

I agree, it sounds like a stupid claim to brag about.

If anything, signing your name so many times simply devalues your autograph. Or maybe that's what he's trying to do. He doesn't want any member of the public to make any money off the back of a book signed by him ???

John Self said...

I'd like to see Malcolm Gluck's signature. I have a couple of books signed by Rushdie, and his signature is far from a detailed representation of his name - more a few letters squiggled after the S and R. Perhaps Gluck actually writes his name out more clearly... But yes, there's always been this slightly unattractive quality in Rushdie the public figure. Still like some of his books though.

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