One thing I love about Linfield–and I’m sure I’ve said it many times and I’ll say it many times more–is the plethora of fantastic opportunities they provide for our students. Our faculty works so hard to ensure that we have chances to experience life in the field of our choice. This past Tuesday, several students from the English department, along with two of our Professors, were able to spend the day in Portland and attend events/a lecture by Salman Rushdie, author of the infamous “The Satanic Verses” and most recently, a memoir of that experience, “Joseph Anton”.
In the morning, I met up with two other senior English majors–Lee and Summer–to drive up to Portland. We met up with two of our professors, Dr. Reshmi Dutt-Ballerstadt and Dr. Daniel Pollack-Pelzner to attend OPB’s “Think Out Loud” radio interview with Salman Rushdie on Joseph Anton. Last year, I was able to attend a similar event for the literary critic, Stephen Greenblatt, so I jumped at this opportunity. The space is very small and intimate. It was amazing to be so close to a legendary author. He talked about his experience in hiding after the fatwa and discussed the content/writing process of his works versus the new memoir. Our professors were able to ask some pretty fantastic questions and time passed very quickly. Rushdie is an engaging storyteller, and I hardly noticed the hour go by.
To listen to the radio broadcast, follow the link and check out the OPB website: http://www.opb.org/radio/programs/thinkoutloud/segment/salman-rushdies-years-as-joseph-anton/ The page also contains a link to several pictures taken at the session–which highlight Dr. Dutt-Ballerstadt and Dr. Pollack-Pelzner.
After the session finished, Summer, Lee and I spent the rest of the day in Portland–we explored the downtown area, ate at the Food Carts, went to Powell’s, grabbed coffee at Stumptown while studying for our Senior Thesis midterm (which is today!) and grabbed dinner before heading over the next session!
We headed over to the Arlene Schnitzer Auditorium for his Literary Arts lecture on his work. The lecture was funny, poignant and very enjoyable. He discussed the power of free speech, interspersed with funny anecdotes from his time in hiding and a long diatribe on “The Davinci Code”. Afterwards, we attended a reception in his honor with the Oregon Historical Society. It was such a fun and exciting experience, I could hardly describe it. I’m just so grateful to have a wonderful circle of fellow English majors and professors willing to put up with us. The following photos are courtesy of Reshmi’s husband, Ralph.