Salman Rushdie, fully Sir Ahmed Salman Rushdie

Salman
Rushdie, fully Sir Ahmed Salman Rushdie
1947

British-Indian Novelist and Essayist, Winner of Booker Prize, His book, "The Satanic Verses" generated controversy and death threats and a fatwā issued by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini

Author Quotes

Doubt, it seems to me, is the central condition of a human being in the twentieth century.

How does newness come into the world? How is it born?

I thought, why am I crying about these characters: I made them up!

It may be argued that the past is a country from which we have all emigrated, that its loss is part of our common humanity.

Many traditional Muslims lead lives apart, inward-turned lives of near-segregation from the wider population.

Obviously, a rigid, blinkered, absolutist world view is the easiest to keep hold of, whereas the fluid, uncertain, metamorphic picture I've always carried about is rather more vulnerable.

Some incredibly important things were being fought for here ... the freedom of the imagination, the great, overwhelming, overarching question of freedom of speech, the right of human beings to walk down the streets of their own country without fear.

The novel does not seek to establish a privileged language but it insists upon the freedom to portray and analyze the struggle between the different contestants for such privileges.

Throughout human history, the apostles of purity, those who have claimed to possess a total explanation, have wrought havoc among mere mixed-up human beings.

What one writer can make in the solitude of one room is something no power can easily destroy.

You can't judge an internal injury by the size of the hole.

Faith without doubt is addiction.

However, in the end, the question [remains]: Why him and not the man standing next to him? Why did this person become a terrorist whereas the person standing next to him, suffering all the same privations, having probably all the same political points of view, did not become a terrorist? The answer to that is an old novelistic answer. The answer to that is character .

I used to say, 'There is a God-shaped hole in me.' For a long time I stressed the absence, the hole. Now I find it is the shape which has become more important.

It may be argued that the past is a country from which we have all emigrated, that its loss is part of our common humanity. Which seems to be self-evidently true; but I suggest that the writer who is out-of-country and even out-of-language may experience this loss in an intensified form. It is made more concrete for him by the physical fact of discontinuity, of his present being in a different place from his past, of his being elsewhere… human beings do not perceive things whole; we are not gods but wounded creatures, cracked lenses, capably only of fractured perceptions. Partial beings, in all the senses of that phrase. Meaning is a shaky edifice we build out of scraps, dogmas, childhood injuries, newspaper articles, chance remarks, old films, small victories, people hated, people loved; perhaps it is because of our sense of what is the case is constructed from such inadequate materials that we defend it so fiercely, even to the death.

Masks beneath masks until suddenly the bare bloodless skull.

Of what fusions, translations, conjoinings is it made?

Somebody always went in the house first, to check it out.

The only people who see the whole picture… are the ones who step outside the frame.

To make convincing such a huge change in a single human life.

What's real and what's true aren't necessarily the same.

Your blasphemy, Salman, can't be forgiven. To set your words against the Words of God.

A photograph is a moral decision taken in one eighth of a second.

For many people, I've ceased to be a human being. I've become an issue, a bother, an affair. … And has it really been so long since religions persecuted people, burning them as heretics, drowning them as witches, that you can't recognize religious persecution when you see it? … What is my single life worth? Despair whispers in my ear: Not a lot. But I refuse to give in to despair … because … I know that many people do care, and are appalled by the … upside-down logic of the post-fatwa world, in which a … novelist can be accused of having savaged or mugged a whole community, becoming its tormentor (instead of its … victim) and the scapegoat for … its discontents… . (What minority is smaller and weaker than a minority of one?)

Human beings do not perceive things whole; we are not gods but wounded creatures, cracked lenses, capably only of fractured perceptions. Partial beings, in all the senses of that phrase.

Author Picture
First Name
Salman
Last Name
Rushdie, fully Sir Ahmed Salman Rushdie
Birth Date
1947
Bio

British-Indian Novelist and Essayist, Winner of Booker Prize, His book, "The Satanic Verses" generated controversy and death threats and a fatwā issued by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini