April 3, 2014

Salman Rushdie’s selfies


Salman Rushdie's Instagram feed is a gift to us all.

Salman Rushdie’s Instagram feed is a gift to us all.

It’s not just the word of 2013; apparently it’s the joke of 2014. “Selfies” seemed to hit everyone’s feeds on April Fool’s Day. Gmail made a joke about sharable selfies, called “shelfies.” (We all know shelfies are something else entirely, yes?) And Air France threatened to install tiny cameras on the backs of their seats.

Best of all, the Paris Review featured a page of Salman Rushdie‘s selfies in its “portfolios” section yesterday. Like that awful photo of Jason Segal as David Foster Wallace, it’s hard to stop looking at them.

Each week seems to yield another one of these damn things. Selfies outshone the Oscars this year, breaking Twitter along the way. It’s baseball season, so of course this week yields a picture of David Ortiz with Obama. April first might be as good a time as any to expunge the joke. (But Rushdie’s face won’t leave you anytime soon.)

The Paris Review table of contents also included an “interview” with Thomas Pynchon and a second one with Cormac McCarthy, as well as “The Part about the Poets” by Roberto Bolano.

If you’re interested in authors’ selfies, check out photographer Vasco Szinetar‘s series with Gabriel García Márquez, Jorge Luis Borges, and others. Of course, they’re not called selfies in 1982. They’re just called “photos.”


Kirsten Reach is an editor at Melville House.