I won’t have much to say about either Hobgoblin, Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman’s upcoming magicians-and-con-men-fight-the-Nazis project for HBO, or Salman Rushdie’s even vaguer-sounding pilot for Showtime until I know more about either one. But I’m glad we’re at a point where television is as desirable a high art form for internationally-regarded authors to pursue as novels or film.
I think the big question is how all three authors will pull off not just plot, which they’re all good at, but dialogue. I think Chabon and Rushdie have a similar tendency towards the grand, the too-perfectly witty, and I’m not always sure how that translates. Authors like Dennis Lehane or George Pelecanos have a smaller aperture than Chabon and Rushdie, who see the potential for magic and miracle everywhere. But they also have a finer sense of how humans really do talk to each other, not simply how they would in a world where everyone was preternaturally clever.