The conversation with world-renowned author Salman Rushdie opened by addressing the “elephant in the room”: similarities between the protagonist of Rushdie’s new novel “The Golden House” and President Donald Trump.
Everything comes unbolted—daily rhythms, the intent dash from heated building to heated building; relationships anchored in the needs of the semesters; perceptions of the place around us, filtered through exhaustion or habit. Warm weather makes the campus new, strange, and more ours.
What is our obligation to not even set out to fix the wrongs of the world, but to actively seek knowledge of them in the first place? It’s not even a question of whether I’m doing enough—first, am I thinking enough?
The Information Age demands data, but maybe the best information I can offer is experiential: There’s a small but tremendously positive difference to actually see sunlight first thing in the morning instead of a soulless, white, pixelated glare and in hearing snippets of bizarre, poignant, infuriating, and enlightening dialogue in passing.
The impressions that last, however, will be entirely Nao’s own: all the wondrous forms she has revealed to us, the image of them luminescent, flourishing, in the seemingly dark and empty waters of grief.
Incorporating art into community outreach poses challenges, but the experiences arts-based service organizations provide also offer unique fulfillment. As the roles of service and art in society remain under debate, initiatives at Harvard that meld the two areas continue to evolve, broadening arts access in surrounding communities and shaping campus artistic life.
In a story spanning only two days of plot-time, Mallarino and the reader successfully confront questions such as: Should one be moral if one’s surroundings require amorality to survive? What are our responsibilities in wielding power?