Salman Rushdie Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 358 quotes)
For a long while I have believed? this is perhaps my version of Sir Darius Xerxes Cam?s belief in a fourth function of outsideness? that in every generation there are a few souls, call them lucky or cursed, who are simply born not belonging, who come into the world semi-detached, if you like, without strong affiliation to family or location or nation or race; that there may even be millions, billions of such souls, as many non-belongers as belongers, perhaps; that, in sum, the phenomenon may be as?natura? a manifestation of human nature as its opposite, but one that has been mostly frustrated, throughout human history, by lack of opportunity. And not only by that: for those who value stability, who fear transience, uncertainly, change, have erected a powerful system of stigmas and taboos against rootlessness, that disruptive, anti-social force, so that we mostly conform, we pretend to be motivated by loyalties and solidarities we do not really feel, we hide our secret identities beneath the false skins of those identities which bear the belonger? seal of approval. But the truth leaks out in our dreams; alone in our beds (because we are all alone at night, even if we do not sleep by ourselves), we soar, we fly, we flee. And in the waking dreams our societies permit, in our myths, our arts, our songs, we celebrate the non-belongers, the different ones, the outlaws, the freaks.What we forbid ourselves we pay good money to watch, in a playhouse or a movie theater, or to read about between the secret covers of a book. Our libraries, our palaces of entertainment tell the truth. The tramp, the assassin, the rebel, the thief, the mutant, the outcast, the delinquent, the devil, the sinner, the traveler, the gangster, the runner, the mask: if we did not recognize in them our least-fulfilled needs, we would not invent them over and over again, in every place, in every language, in every time.
Nobody has the right to not be offended. That right doesn't exist in any declaration I have ever read. If you are offended it is your problem, and frankly lots of things offend lots of people.I can walk into a bookshop and point out a number of books that I find very unattractive in what they say. But it doesn't occur to me to burn the bookshop down. If you don't like a book, read another book. If you start reading a book and you decide you don't like it, nobody is telling you to finish it. To read a 600-page novel and then say that it has deeply offended you: well, you have done a lot of work to be offended.
Rashid did not give in. "Look how his hands move on the contols," he told her. "In those worlds left-handedness does not impede him. Amazingly, he is almost ambidextrous." Soraya snorted with annoyance. "Have you seen his handwriting?" she said. "Will his hedgehogs and plumbers help with that? Will his 'pisps' and 'wees' get him through school? Such names! They sound like going to the bathroom or what." Rashid began to smile placatingly. "The term is consoles," he began but Soraya turned on her heel and walked away, waving one hand high above her head. "Do not speak to me of such things," she said over her shoulder, speaking in her grandest voice. "I am in-console-able.
Abraham Zogoiby covered his face that night in August 1939 because he had been assailed by fear, [...] a sudden apprehension that the ugliness of life might defeat its beauty; that love did not make lovers invulnerable. Nevertheless, he thought, even if the world's beauty and love were on the edge of destruction, theirs would still be the only side to be on; defeated love would still be love, hate's victory would not make it other than it was.
Because if the whole universe could just explode out of Nothing and then just Be, don't you see that the opposite could also be true? That it is possible to implode and Un-Be as well as to explode and Be? That it's possible to implode and Un-Be as well as to explode and Be? That all human beings, Napoleon Bonaparte, for example, or the emperor Akbar, or Angelina Jolie or your father, could simply return to Nothing once they're...done? In a sort of Little, by which I mean personal, Un-Bang?
Go for broke. Always try and do too much. Dispense with safety nets. Take a deep breath before you begin talking. Aim for the stars. Keep grinning. Be bloody-minded. Argue with the world. And never forget that writing is as close as we get to keeping a hold on the thousand and one things--childhood, certainties, cities, doubts, dreams, instants, phrases, parents, loves--that go on slipping , like sand, through our fingers.
I'm not a prophet, but I always thought it was natural for dictatorships to fall. I remember in 1989, two months before the fall of the Berlin Wall, had you said it was going to happen no one would have believed you. The system seemed powerful and unbreakable. Suddenly overnight it blew away like dust.
A man who sets out to make himself up is taking on the Creator's role, according to one way of seeing things; he's unnatural, a blasphemer, an abomination of abominations. From another angle, you could see pathos in him, heroism in his struggle, in his willingness to risk: not all mutants survive. Or, consider him socio-politically: most migrants learn, and can become disguises. Our own false descriptions to counter the falsehoods invented about us, concealing for reasons of security our secret selves.
Trapped inside a metaphor, I've often felt the need to re-describe it, to change the terms. This isn't so much a balloon, I've wanted to say, as a bubble within which I'm simultaneously exposed and sealed off.... depriving me of reality, reducing me to an abstraction....[NY, Dec. 1991; Columbia Graduate School Of Journalism Speech]