Salman Rushdie: Digital Archive at Emory ‘Allowed Me to Write’ Memoir (Video)

Posted on March 9, 2012 by


From Emory News:

When Salman Rushdie granted Emory University his archive — records that capture 40 years of his literary life — he wasn’t just opening the door to public examination of a writer and his process.

Organizing his life’s writings — which range from scribbled notes and faded faxes to computer files — also made it possible for the celebrated author to tackle in-depth research for a new book, an autobiographical memoir due out later this year.

Emory’s archives “actually allowed me to write the memoir,” says Rushdie, speaking during a March 2 discussion at Woodruff Library on how digital scholarship has impacted his craft, part of a series of programs scheduled during his recent visit as University Distinguished Professor.

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Working with Emory’s Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library (MARBL) to catalogue his writings became an exercise that created a valuable resource when Rushdie began work on his memoir, which he describes as “a long book, over 600 pages.”

As a researcher dedicated to preserving fact, Rushdie knows firsthand that relying upon memory alone has its dangers, making original documentation essential.

Through the digital archive, the author was able to consult a master index within a searchable database — “my life with barcodes,” he jokes —to confirm details that might otherwise have been lost.

Read the Complete Summary

Watch the Video: Salman Rushdie Discusses Creativity and Digital Scholarship with Erika Farr  (Emory U. via YouTube)
The conversation runs 61 minutes.

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