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SALMAN RUSHDIE QUOTES

Your songs are your planets. Live on them but make no home there.

SALMAN RUSHDIE, The Ground Beneath Her Feet

The idea of the sacred is quite simply one of the most conservative notions in any culture, because it seeks to turn other ideas -- uncertainty, progress, change -- into crimes.

SALMAN RUSHDIE, speech, Feb. 6, 1990

With death comes honesty.

SALMAN RUSHDIE, The Satanic Verses

A poet’s work is to name the unnameable, to point at frauds, to take sides, start arguments, shape the world, and stop it going to sleep.

SALMAN RUSHDIE, London Independent, Feb. 18, 1989

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

SALMAN RUSHDIE, Shame

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

SALMAN RUSHDIE, London Observer, Feb. 19, 1989

Live on, survive, for the earth gives forth wonders. It may swallow your heart, but the wonders keep on coming. You stand before them bareheaded, shriven. What is expected of you is attention.

SALMAN RUSHDIE, The Ground Beneath Her Feet

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.

SALMAN RUSHDIE, speech, Feb. 6, 1990

Sometimes legends make reality, and become more useful than the facts.

SALMAN RUSHDIE, Midnight's Children

How does newness come into the world? How is it born?
Of what fusions, translations, conjoinings is it made?
How does it survive, extreme and dangerous as it is? What compromises, what deals, what betrayals of its secret nature must it make to stave off the wrecking crew, the exterminating angel, the guillotine?
Is birth always a fall?
Do angels have wings? Can men fly?

SALMAN RUSHDIE, The Satanic Verses

Books choose their authors; the act of creation is not entirely a rational and conscious one.

SALMAN RUSHDIE, London Independent, Feb. 4, 1990

Reality is a question of perspective; the further you get from the past, the more concrete and plausible it seems—but as you approach the present, it inevitably seems incredible.

SALMAN RUSHDIE, Midnight's Children

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.

SALMAN RUSHDIE, London Independent, Feb. 4, 1990

You can find shame in every house, burning in an ashtray, hanging framed upon a wall, covering a bed. But nobody notices it any more.

SALMAN RUSHDIE, Shame

I hate admitting that my enemies have a point.

SALMAN RUSHDIE, The Satanic Verses

If I do have a kind of moral view of the world, which I suppose I do, I should come clean and admit that I do, it's trying to construct for myself, a sense of the spiritual life of human beings which doesn't rely on outside validation. Which doesn't rely on some moral absolute like a god or a devil or a holy book. But which tries to create -- what I'm trying to do for myself is work out a set of spiritual values and a way of thinking about the spiritual life of people which is internal. Which says that we all have that inside us, you don't need to go outside to look for the divine. Nor for the demonic.

SALMAN RUSHDIE, Conversations With Salman Rushdie

Freedom to reject is the only freedom.

SALMAN RUSHDIE, The Ground Beneath Her Feet

The idea of the sacred is quite simply one of the most conservative notions in any culture, because it seeks to turn other ideas -- uncertainty, progress, change -- into crimes.

SALMAN RUSHDIE, speech, Feb. 6, 1990

After a long, hopeless war, people will settle for peace, at almost any price.

SALMAN RUSHDIE, preface, The Jaguar Smile

Free speech is the whole thing, the whole ball game. Free speech is life itself.

SALMAN RUSHDIE, London Guardian, Nov. 8, 1990

Life is elsewhere. Cross frontiers. Fly away.

SALMAN RUSHDIE, The Ground Beneath Her Feet

The moment you say that any idea system is sacred, whether it's a religious belief system or a secular ideology, the moment you declare a set of ideas to be immune from criticism, satire, derision, or contempt, freedom of thought becomes impossible.

SALMAN RUSHDIE, "Do We Have to Fight the Battle for the Enlightenment all Over Again?"

How do you defeat terrorism? Don't be terrorized.

SALMAN RUSHDIE, Step Across This Line: Collected Nonfiction 1992-2002

When you throw everything up in the air anything becomes possible.

SALMAN RUSHDIE, The Satanic Verses

Realism can break a writer's heart.

SALMAN RUSHDIE, Shame

Our lives teach us who we are.

SALMAN RUSHDIE, London Independent, Feb. 4, 1990


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