Salman Rushdie is on Twitter. You can follow him @SalmanRushdie*, reports The Wall Street Journal's Tom Wright. The man who has won a Booker Prize for his long and complicated political novel Midnight's Children has opted to express himself in a shorter, and some might say, less intellectual way. Even Rushdie admits the medium is a step down. "We'll see. 140-character brains don't have to know a great deal... :)," Rushdie tweeted in response to a message welcoming "real brains" to the service. But perhaps the move isn't so out of character--at least not if he does it the Salman Rushdie way.
Rushdie isn't new to odd side-projects that seem like a step out of his brainy box, which he tends to justify with an intellectual approach. Take his science fiction TV pilot we reported on earlier this year. While he admitted he was doing it for money, he also intellectually legitimized it saying it gave him the chance to be a "primary creative artist," he said in an interview with the Observer. He also has a Tumblr, where he has published excerpts of a new short story "A Globe of Heaven." We expect Rushdie to give his Twitter feed the same highbrow touch.
And so far he has. While he's generally a man of words, he can deliver the "fireworks of his prose," as Wright describes it, in small bursts, too. After fending off questions testing his true identity, Rushdie finally got Twitter verified and updated his profile bio with this witty reference. "Today we move on from ontological questions. As Popeye the Sailor Man said, I yam what I yam and that's all that I yam." And in response to a Margaret Atwood tweet about Internet trolls Rushdie retorted, "I have been turning trolls to (blocked) stone. Seeing the light does that to them, you know." @SalmanRushdie1 is, not so surprisingly, witty and entertaining. He also has some brainy friends with whom to converse, which could keep the conversation out of Twitter spat territory.
*Rushdie won his twitter war and can now be followed @SalmanRushdie.