Martin Amis, haalt in zijn boek, Visiting Mrs Nabokov And Other Excursions (1993), herinneringen op aan Salman Rushdie.
There has always been something Olympian about Salman Rushdie. (schrijft Amis). His belief in his own powers, however (unlike other kinds of belief), is not monolithic and therefore precarious. It is agile, capricious and droll. The first time I met him, seven years ago, he mentioned to me that he had recently played football for a Writer’s Eleven in a historic fixture in Finland.
‘Really? I said, how did you do?’ I expected the usual kind of comedy (sprainend ankle, heart attack, incompetence, disgrace). But I was given another kind of comedy, out of left field.
He said, ‘I, uh, scored a hattrick, actually.’
‘You’re kidding. I suppose you just stuck your leg out. You srambled them home.’
‘Goal number one was a first-time hip-high volley from twenty yards out. For the second, I beat two men at the edge of the box and curled the ball into the top corner with the outside of my left foot.’
‘And the third goal Salman? A tap-in. A fluke?’
‘No. The third goal was a power header.’
Even if you don’t know the game, you’ll probably get the idea. This is Rushdie’s style. He is always daring you to decide wether or not to take him literally.