Salman Rushdie, fully Sir Ahmed Salman Rushdie

Rushdie, fully Sir Ahmed Salman Rushdie

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

Both are responsible. But I know when I write a book it's my name on the book, so I stand or fall by what I sign. And so must she.

God, Satan, Paradise, and Hell all vanished one day in my fifteenth year, when I quite abruptly lost my faith.... Afterwards, to prove my new-found atheism, I bought myself a rather tasteless ham sandwich, and so partook for the first time of the forbidden flesh of the swine. No thunderbolt arrived to strike me down.... From that day to this I have thought of myself as a wholly secular person.

I haven't seen the book, I have seen the passages that were compared between the two books, I must say I don't accept the idea that this could have been accidentally or innocently done. The passages are too many and the similarities are too extensive.

Islam doesn't have to mean blind faith. It can mean what it always meant in your family, a culture, a civilization, as open-minded as your grandfather was, as delightedly disputatious as your father was.... Don't let the zealots make Muslim a terrifying word, I urged myself; remember when it meant family.

Literature is the one place in any society where, within the secrecy of our own heads, we can hear voices talking about everything in every possible way.

Nothing comes from nothing, Thief let; no story comes from nowhere; new stories are born from old--it is the new combinations that make them new.

Rock and roll music - the music of freedom frightens people and unleashes all manner of conservative defense mechanisms.

The history of life was not the bumbling progress — the very English, middle-class progress — Victorian thought had wanted it to be, but violent, a thing of dramatic, cumulative transformations: in the old formulation, more revolution than evolution.

There were times when you would pick up the phone and have people there saying we know where you live and we are going to get you. But on the whole, it became a way of life and you get used to it,

What I was trying to show was the creation of extremely violent individuals from people like you and I... Shalimar was a happy, admired performer whose world was smashed, both inside and out. That double fracture provided the fissure for him to slip through.

With death comes honesty.

But love is what we want, not freedom. Who then is the unluckier man? The beloved, who is given his heart's desire and must for ever after fear its loss, or the free man, with his unlooked-for liberty, naked and alone between the captive armies of the earth?

Having been borne across the world, we are translated men. It is normally supposed that something always gets lost in translation; I cling, obstinately, to the notion that something can also be gained.

I make no complaint. I am a writer. I do not accept my condition; I will strive to change it; but I inhabit it, I am trying to learn from it.

It is high time, for starters, that Muslims were able to study the revelation of their religion as an event inside history, not supernaturally above it,

Literature is where I go to explore the highest and lowest places in human society and in the human spirit, where I hope to find not absolute truth but the truth of the tale, of the imagination of the heart.

Nothing really improves us. Whatever improves one person will disimprove another. Some people are paralyzed by the consciousness of death, other people live with it. … The fatwa certainly made me think about it a lot more than I ever had. I guess I know I'm going to die, but then, so are you. And one of the things that I thought a lot about at the time of the fatwa and ever since is that quite a few of the people I really care about died during this period, all about the same age as I am, and they were not under a death sentence. They just died, of lung cancer, AIDS, whatever. It occurred to me that you don't need a fatwa, it can happen anytime.

Shame is like everything else; live with it for long enough and it becomes part of the furniture.

The human condition, but what of the angelic? Halfway between Allah-god and homosap, did they ever doubt? They did: challenging God's will one day they hid muttering beneath the Throne, daring to ask forbidden things: anti-questions. Is it right that. Could it not be argued. Freedom, the old antiquest. He calmed them down, naturally, employing management skills a la god. Flattered them: you will be the instruments of my will on earth, the salvation-damnation of man, all the usual etcetera. And hey presto, the end of protest, on with the haloes, back to work. Angels are easily pacified; turn them into instruments and they'll play your harpy tune. Human beings are tougher nuts, can doubt anything, even the evidence of their own eyes. Of being-their-own-eyes. Of what, as they sink heavy-lidded, transpires behind closed peepers ... angels, they don't have much in the way of a will. To will is to disagree; not to submit; to dissent.

There'll be one track that I like and a lot of it that is just wallpaper and sounds the same.

What is needed is a move beyond tradition -- nothing less than a reform movement to bring the core concepts of Islam into the modern age.

Woe to that nation whose literature is cut short by the intrusion of force. This is not merely interference with freedom of the press but the sealing up of a nation's heart, the excision of its memory.

Children are the vessels into which adults pour their poison.

He was also the most tolerant, open-minded, intellectually generous, nonjudgmental adult that I ever met as a child, ... the spirit of my grandfather came to infuse the spirit of the place.

I reluctantly concluded that there was no way for me to help bring into being the Muslim culture I'd dreamed of, the progressive, irreverent, skeptical, argumentative, playful and unafraid culture which is what I've always understood as freedom. … Actually Existing Islam … which makes literalism a weapon and redescription a crime, will never let the likes of me in.

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Rushdie, fully Sir Ahmed Salman Rushdie
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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