Salman Rushdie quote

"The accidents of my life have given me the ability to make stories in which different parts of the world are brought together, sometimes harmoniously, sometimes in conflict, and sometimes both - usually both. The difficulty in these stories is that if you write about everywhere you can end up writing about nowhere."

Salman Rushdie

Born: June 19, 1947

Occupation: Novelist

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More quotes of Salman Rushdie

Salman Rushdie

The point is always reached after which the gods no longer share their lives with mortal men and women, they die or wither away or retire... Now that they've gone, the high drama's over. What remains is...

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Salman Rushdie

So India’s problem turns out to be the world’s problem. What happened in India has happened in God’s name. The problem’s name is God.

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Salman Rushdie

What can't be cured must be endured.

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Salman Rushdie

Language upon a silvered tongue affords enchantment enough.

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Salman Rushdie

A figure of speech is a shifty thing; it can be twisted or it can be straight.

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Salman Rushdie

Children are the vessels into which adults pour their poison.

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Salman Rushdie

Fundamentalism isn't about religion, it's about power.

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Salman Rushdie

My horizon's have shrunk and I have only endings to write.

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Salman Rushdie

People don't like being around despair. Our tolerance for the truly hopeless, for those who are irredeemably broken by life is strictly limited. The sob stories we like are the ones that end before we're...

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Salman Rushdie

When we stop believing in gods we can start believing in their stories, I retort. There are of course no such things as miracles, but if there were and so tomorrow we woke up to find no more believers...

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Salman Rushdie

My heart broke open and history fell in.

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Salman Rushdie

Too many people spouting too many words, and in the end those words will turn to bullets and stones.

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Salman Rushdie

Our lives, our stories, flowed into one another's, were no longer our own, individual, discrete.

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Salman Rushdie

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

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Salman Rushdie

I know that when people pull apart, they usually employ misunderstanding as a weapon, deliberately getting hold of the stick's wrong end, impaling themselves on its point in order to prove the perfidy...

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Salman Rushdie

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...

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Salman Rushdie

What kind of idea are you? Are you the kind that compromises, does deals, accomodates itself to society, aims to find a niche, to survive; or are you the cussed, bloody-minded, ramrod-backed type of damnfool...

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Salman Rushdie

And so it is they who, between them, give me all the reasons for believing in none.

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Salman Rushdie

A book is a product of a pact with the Devil that inverts the Faustian contract, he'd told Allie. Dr Faustus sacrificed eternity in return for two dozen years of power; the writer agrees to the ruination...

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Salman Rushdie

I do not envy people who think they have a complete explanation of the world, for the simple reason that they are obviously wrong.

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Salman Rushdie

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

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Salman Rushdie

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.

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Salman Rushdie

Freedom to reject is the only freedom.

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Salman Rushdie

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.

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Salman Rushdie

Life is elsewhere. Cross frontiers. Fly away.

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Salman Rushdie

Human beings understand themselves and shape their futures by arguing and challenging and questioning and saying the un-sayable, not by bowing the knee whether to gods or to men.

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Salman Rushdie

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

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Salman Rushdie

A man who catches History's eye is thereafter bound to a mistress from whom he will never escape.

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Salman Rushdie

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.

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Salman Rushdie

For a fellow who's not to much to look at, you have the instincts of a champion.

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Salman Rushdie

Why obliterate the exceptional merely in order to make the outstanding look finer than it was?

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Salman Rushdie

‎No people whose word for 'yesterday' is the same as their word for 'tomorrow' can be said to have a firm grip on the time.

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Salman Rushdie

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

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Salman Rushdie

Perhaps the story you finish is never the one you begin.

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Salman Rushdie

faith without doubt is addiction

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Salman Rushdie

With death comes honesty.

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Salman Rushdie

She's no flibberti-gibberti mamzell, but a whir-stir-get-lost-sir bundla dynamite!

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Salman Rushdie

I am the sum total of everything that went before me, of all I have been seen done, of everything done-to-me. I am everyone everything whose being-in-the-world affected was affected by mine. I am anything...

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Salman Rushdie

I grew up kissing books and bread.

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Salman Rushdie

She saw him fracture into rainbow colors through the prism of her love.

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Salman Rushdie

He would dream of discovering a magic optometrist from whom he would purchase a pair of green-tinged spectacles which would correct his regrettable myopia, and after that he would be able to see through...

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Salman Rushdie

In Europe, the Enlightenment of the 18th century was seen as a battle against the desire of the Church to limit intellectual freedom, a battle against the Inquisition, a battle against religious censorship....

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Salman Rushdie

A little bit of one story joins onto an idea from another, and hey presto, . . . not old tales but new ones. Nothing comes from nothing.

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Salman Rushdie

Music, love, death. Certainly a triangle of sorts; maybe even an eternal one. "The only people who can see the whole picture," he murmured, "are the ones who step out of the frame." (The ground beneath...

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Salman Rushdie

The thing that I think was very brave of my younger self was that he decided he would be an idiot. Just persevere. That feels brave to me: deciding that I'm going to damn well be this person that I've...

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Salman Rushdie

Who what am I? My answer: I am everyone everything whose being-in-the-world affected was affected by mine. I am anything that happens after I’ve gone which would not have happened if I had not come....

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Salman Rushdie

A man who invents himself needs someone to believe in him... Not only the need to be believed in, but the need to believe in another. You've got it: Love.

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Salman Rushdie

A book is not completed till it's read.

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Salman Rushdie

From the beginning men used God to justify the unjustifiable.

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Salman Rushdie

Something was badly amiss with the spiritual life of the planet...Too many demons inside people claiming to believe in God.

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Salman Rushdie

An iceberg is water striving to be land; a mountain, especially a Himalaya, especially Everest, is land's attempt to metamorphose into sky; it is grounded in flight, the earth mutated--nearly--into air,...

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Salman Rushdie

A people that has remained convinced of its greatness and invulnerability, that has chosen to believe such a myth in the face of all the evidence, is a people in the grip of a kind of sleep, or madness.

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Salman Rushdie

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

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Salman Rushdie

In the cookie of life, friends are the chocolate chips.

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Salman Rushdie

I admit it: above all things, I fear absurdity.

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Salman Rushdie

What's the use of stories that aren't even true?

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Salman Rushdie

Travel was pointless. It removed you from the place in which you had a meaning, and to which you gave meaning in return by dedicating your life to it, and it spirited you away into fairylands where you...

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Salman Rushdie

As though she had entered a fable, as though she were no more than words crawling along a dry page, or as though she were becoming that page itself, that surface on which her story would be written and...

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Salman Rushdie

Only the foolish, blinded by language's conventions, think of fire as red or gold. Fire is blue at it's melancholy rim, green in it's envious heart. It may burn white, or even, in it's greatest rages,...

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Salman Rushdie

Respect for religion' has become a code phrase meaning 'fear of religion'. Religions, like all other ideas, deserve criticism, satire, and, yes, our fearless disrespect.

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Salman Rushdie

History could claw upward as well as down. The powerful could be deafened by the cries of the poor.

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Salman Rushdie

Religion is responsible for a lot of the problems in the history of the world and it's not something that I practice or recommend, but to each his own.

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Salman Rushdie

Once you have been in an earthquake you know, even if you survive without a scratch, that like a stroke in the heart, it remains in the earth's breast, horribly potential, always promising to return, to...

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Salman Rushdie

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

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Salman Rushdie

In spite of all evidence that life is discontinuous, a valley of rifts, and that random chance plays a great part in our fates, we go on believing in the continuity of things, in causation and meaning....

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Salman Rushdie

The only people who see the whole picture,' he murmured, 'are the ones who step out of the frame.

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Salman Rushdie

They lived in a great city, a metropolis of many narratives that converged briefly and then separated for ever, discovering their different dooms in that crowd of stories through which all of us, following...

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Salman Rushdie

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,...

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Salman Rushdie

My parents gave me the gift of irreligion, of growing up without bothering to ask people what gods they held dear, assuming that in fact, like my parents, they weren't interested in gods, and that this...

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Salman Rushdie

Home is the place where you feel happy.

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Salman Rushdie

The inevitable triumph of illusion over reality that was the single most obvious truth about the history of the human race.

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Salman Rushdie

A sigh isn't just a sigh. We inhale the world and breathe out meaning. While we can. While we can.

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Salman Rushdie

we look up and we hope the stars look down, we pray that there may be stars for us to follow, stars moving across the heavens and leading us to our destiny, but it's only our vanity. We look at the galaxy...

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Salman Rushdie

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...

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Salman Rushdie

If a birth is the fall-out from the explosion caused by the union of two unstable elements, then perhaps a half-life is all we can expect.

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Salman Rushdie

I had become a kind of information magpie, gathering to myself all manner of shiny scraps of fact and hokum and books and art-history and politics and music and film, and developing, too, a certain skill...

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Salman Rushdie

We crave permission openly to become our secret selves.

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Salman Rushdie

Without water we are nothing", the traveler thought. "Even an emperor, denied water, would swiftly turn to dust. Water is the real monarch and we are all its slaves.

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Salman Rushdie

Wherever goodness lay, it did not lie in ritual, unthinking obeisance before a deity but rather, perhaps, in the slow clumsy, error-strewn working out of an individual or collective path.

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Salman Rushdie

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

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Salman Rushdie

I always thought storytelling was like juggling [...] You keep a lot of different tales in the air, and juggle them up and down, and if you're good you don't drop any.

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Salman Rushdie

Happy endings must come at the end of something,' the Walrus pointed out. 'If they happen in the middle of a story, or an adventure, or the like, all they do is cheer things up for awhile.

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Salman Rushdie

Sometimes by a woodland stream he watched the water rush over the pebbled bed, its tiny modulations of bounce and flow. A woman's body was like that. If you watched it carefully enough you could see how...

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Salman Rushdie

Whores and writers, Mahound. We are the people you can't forgive.

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Salman Rushdie

All migrants leave their pasts behind, although some try to pack it into bundles and boxes-but on the journey something seeps out of the treasured mementoes and old photographs, until even their owners...

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Salman Rushdie

How to forgive the world for its beauty, which merely disguises its ugliness; for its gentleness, which merely cloaks its cruelty; for its illusion of continuity, seamlessly, as the night follows the day,...

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Salman Rushdie

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.

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Salman Rushdie

What is freedom of expression? Without the freedom to offend, it ceases to exist.

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Salman Rushdie

I didn't want to become some embittered old hack getting his revenge for the rest of my life. And I didn't want to become some scared creature cowering in a corner. I remember telling myself not to carry...

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Salman Rushdie

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.

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Salman Rushdie

A book is a version of the world. If you do not like it, ignore it; or offer your own version in return.

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Salman Rushdie

I've never had very high regard for therapists. I owe my health, my mental survival, to my friends and loved ones.

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Salman Rushdie

When thought becomes excessively painful, action is the finest remedy.

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Salman Rushdie

If Woody Allen were a Muslim, he'd be dead by now.

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Salman Rushdie

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

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Salman Rushdie

What distinguishes a great artist from a weak one is first their sensibility and tenderness; second, their imagination, and third, their industry.

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Salman Rushdie

One of the problems with defending free speech is you often have to defend people that you find to be outrageous and unpleasant and disgusting.

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Salman Rushdie

I do not need the idea of God to explain the world I live in.

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Salman Rushdie

Names, once they are in common use, quickly become mere sounds, their etymology being buried, like so many of the earth's marvels, beneath the dust of habit.

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Salman Rushdie

The acceptance that all that is solid has melted into the air, that reality and morality are not givens but imperfect human constructs, is the point from which fiction begins.

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Salman Rushdie

Vertigo is the conflict between the fear of falling and the desire to fall.

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Salman Rushdie

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

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Salman Rushdie

It is very, very easy not to be offended by a book. You just have to shut it.

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Salman Rushdie

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.

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Salman Rushdie

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

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Salman Rushdie

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

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Salman Rushdie

If my child had prejudice in his head, I'd be ashamed. I would see it as my failure as a parent.

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Salman Rushdie

One of the extraordinary things about human events is that the unthinkable becomes thinkable.

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Salman Rushdie

Writers and politicians are natural rivals. Both groups try to make the world in their own images; they fight for the same territory.

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Salman Rushdie

Most of what matters in your life takes place in your absence.

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Salman Rushdie

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

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Salman Rushdie

The world is full of things that upset people. But most of us deal with it and move on and don't try and burn the planet down.

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Salman Rushdie

When you write, you write out of your best self. Everything else drops away.

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Salman Rushdie

Our lives teach us who we are.

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Salman Rushdie

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...

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Salman Rushdie

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.

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Salman Rushdie

British society has never been cleansed of the filth of imperialism.

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Salman Rushdie

I am clearly vulnerable to these more passionate and volatile unstable relationships. I am trying to not be so vulnerable.

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Salman Rushdie

I am on Facebook, but mainly as a way to spy on my children. I find out more about them from their Facebook pages than from what they tell me.

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Salman Rushdie

I hate admitting that my enemies have a point.

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Salman Rushdie

If you're offended, it's your problem.

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Salman Rushdie

In a novel, if you're any good, you don't just have good people or bad people. You have complicated people. You have real people.

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Salman Rushdie

A mature society understands that at the heart of democracy is argument.

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Salman Rushdie

A novel, I think, is partly about the contemporary and partly about the eternal, and it's the balance of that that's difficult to achieve.

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Salman Rushdie

A relationship with an imaginary woman is preferable to a relationship with a real one.

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Salman Rushdie

A thing that happens to migrants is that they lose many of the traditional things which root identity, which root the self.

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Salman Rushdie

Acting was always my unscratched itch, when I was in college and even afterwards.

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Salman Rushdie

Airport security exists to guard us against terrorist attacks.

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Salman Rushdie

All art began as sacred art, you know? I mean, all painting began as religious painting. All writing began as religious writing.

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Salman Rushdie

All my adult life, if I didn't have several hours a day to sit in a room by myself, I would get antsy and irritable.

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Salman Rushdie

American literature has always been immigrant.

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Salman Rushdie

An attack upon our ability to tell stories is not just censorship - it is a crime against our nature as human beings.

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Salman Rushdie

Anyone who reads my work will see that there are often difficult relationships between fathers and sons.

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Salman Rushdie

Be sure that you go to the author to get at his meaning, not to find yours.

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Salman Rushdie

Before I came to England, my favorite authors were P. G. Wodehouse and Agatha Christie. I used to devour both.

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Salman Rushdie

Bin Laden was born filthy rich and died in a rich man's house, which he had painstakingly built to the highest specifications.

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Salman Rushdie

Broad-mindedness is related to tolerance; open-mindedness is the sibling of peace.

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Salman Rushdie

Censorship is the thing that stops you doing what you want to do, and what writers want to talk about is what they do, not what stops them doing it.

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Salman Rushdie

Certainly, the Hollywood cinema, there's almost nothing of interest coming out of there.

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Salman Rushdie

Chekhov is this poet of melancholy and isolation and of wishing you were somewhere else than where you are.

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Salman Rushdie

Children like being a little scared, but they don't want to be disturbed.

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Salman Rushdie

Cruelty is not a literary value.

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Salman Rushdie

Discovery is fun. I am incredibly open to everything.

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Salman Rushdie

Dissensions between Muslim nations run at least as deep, if not deeper, than those nations' resentment of the West.

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Salman Rushdie

England in a way is lucky. It's an island, so the frontiers are given by the sea.

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Salman Rushdie

Even when things are at their worst, there's a little voice in your head saying, 'Good story!'

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Salman Rushdie

Everybody loves 'The Wire,' and I think it's okay, but in the end it's just a police series.

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Salman Rushdie

Free societies are societies in motion, and with motion comes friction.

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Salman Rushdie

Hyperrealism can create an atmosphere of surrealism because nobody sees the world in such detail.

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Salman Rushdie

I did a lot of student acting when I was young.

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Salman Rushdie

I do think that there is such a thing as human nature, and that the things that we have in common are perhaps greater than the things that divide us.

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Salman Rushdie

I don't know what to say about literary critics. I think it's probably best to say nothing.

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Salman Rushdie

I don't like books that play to the gallery, but I've become more concerned with telling a story as clearly and engagingly as I can.

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Salman Rushdie

I don't think people cry reading 'Midnight's Children,' but a lot of people seem to cry watching the movie.

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Salman Rushdie

I grew up reading 'The Jungle Books' and loving them.

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Salman Rushdie

I had a very difficult relationship with my father, which ended up okay, but there were many difficult years.

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Salman Rushdie

I have been a film buff all my life and believe that the finest cinema is fully the equal of the best novels.

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Salman Rushdie

I have to say that after some initial resistance, I'm now a complete 'Game of Thrones' addict.

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Salman Rushdie

I remember when I was young, many cities in the Muslim world were cosmopolitan cities with a lot of culture.

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Salman Rushdie

I seem to have fallen for women with missing parents. Goodness knows what it signifies.

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Salman Rushdie

I think that a lot of us, whether we are religious or not - there are no words to express some things except religious words. For instance, 'soul.'

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Salman Rushdie

I think that England made a very big, historical mistake to allow itself to become the kind of terrorist capital of the world.

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Salman Rushdie

I think the veil is a way of taking power away from women.

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Salman Rushdie

I will come back to India - so deal with it.

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Salman Rushdie

I write books I'd enjoy reading, I'm the reader standing behind my shoulder.

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Salman Rushdie

I'll tell you what divorce hasn't taught me. It didn't teach me not to get married again.

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Salman Rushdie

I'm a big-city boy. What I like is big cities. It's not just what I like. It's what I write about.

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Salman Rushdie

I'm a world expert on superhero comics. I think maybe only Michael Chabon knows more than me.

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Salman Rushdie

I'm definitely post-something.

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Salman Rushdie

I'm no friend of Tony Blair's and I consider the Middle East policies of the United States and the UK fatal.

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Salman Rushdie

I'm not a big fan of there being voiceovers in movies. I really prefer it when the film tells it story.

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Salman Rushdie

I'm not saying I am never going to fall in love again, but there is no need to marry.

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Salman Rushdie

I've always prided myself on my discipline as a writer. I do it like a job. I get up in the morning and go to my desk.

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Salman Rushdie

I've never rejected the world I came from. To be rejected by it is horrible.

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Salman Rushdie

I've never yet managed to write a novel which didn't have an Indian central character.

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Salman Rushdie

If bigots behave like bigots, it's not a huge surprise.

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Salman Rushdie

If I were asked for a one-sentence sound bite on religion, I would say I was against it.

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Salman Rushdie

If the creative artist worries if he will still be free tomorrow, then he will not be free today.

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Salman Rushdie

If Turkey wants to join Europe, it will have to become a European country, and that might take a long time.

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Salman Rushdie

If you actually want to change your world, there is a better way of doing it than blowing yourself up.

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Salman Rushdie

If you have children, you worry about the world you're leaving them.

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Salman Rushdie

In general, writers shouldn't be killed for what they write, though I can think of exceptions.

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Salman Rushdie

In Iran, fundamentalism was fuelled to an extent by the regime of the Shah being supported by the West.

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Salman Rushdie

In television, the 60-minute series, 'The Wire' and 'Mad Men' and so on, the writer is the primary creative artist.

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Salman Rushdie

In the movies, the writer is just the servant, the employee.

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Salman Rushdie

In the real world, immeasurable hurt is caused by terrorists based in Pakistan who attack countries like India.

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Salman Rushdie

In this world without quiet corners, there can be no easy escapes from history, from hullabaloo, from terrible, unquiet fuss.

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Salman Rushdie

In today's U.S., it's possible for almost anyone - women, gays, African-Americans, Jews - to run for, and be elected to, high office.

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Salman Rushdie

India is my kid sister.

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Salman Rushdie

It is often said by religious people that without its framework, there is no sense of right or wrong. My view is that religion comes after ethics.

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Salman Rushdie

It may be that the books that were best liked in your lifetime are not the ones that are best liked 100 years later.

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Salman Rushdie

It seems that the right of freedom of speech that was enshrined in numerous constitutions is now under attack by religious institutions.

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Salman Rushdie

It's Kennedy's war, Vietnam. Lyndon Johnson got all the flak, but it's Kennedy's war.

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Salman Rushdie

It's obvious that I come down on the side of free speech for anybody's work.

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Salman Rushdie

It's true that the human body is more vulnerable than the products of the human mind.

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Salman Rushdie

Killing people because you don't like their ideas - it's a bad thing.

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Salman Rushdie

Look at history. It's not the account of a species at peace.

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Salman Rushdie

Many men start being friendly with women because they are trying to seduce them. I'm not trying to seduce them. I just like hanging out with them.

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Salman Rushdie

Mo Yan is the Chinese equivalent of the Soviet Russian apparatchik writer Mikhail Sholokhov: a patsy of the regime.

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Salman Rushdie

My children are English, and both of their mothers were English.

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Salman Rushdie

My grandmother was very fierce and gruff. She was quite small, but she was very wide.

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Salman Rushdie

Nobody wants to read a 600 page book in which the author is fabulous throughout.

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Salman Rushdie

Normally when I read, I don't like music playing.

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Salman Rushdie

One of the strange things about violent and authoritarian regimes is they don't like the glare of negative publicity.

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Salman Rushdie

One of the things I've thought about 'Midnight's Children' is that it is a novel which puts a Muslim family at the centre of the Indian experience.

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Salman Rushdie

Original thought, original artistic expression is by its very nature questioning, irreverent, iconoclastic.

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Salman Rushdie

People are always telling me that they've seen people reading my books on the subway, or the beach, or whenever.

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Salman Rushdie

Rock n' roll was a kid when I was a kid.

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Salman Rushdie

Sometimes great, banned works defy the censor's description and impose themselves on the world - 'Ulysses,' 'Lolita,' the 'Arabian Nights.'

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Salman Rushdie

Sometimes when you finish a book, you don't know quite what you've got.

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Salman Rushdie

Sometimes writing a novel is not unlike having a baby. You'd have to ask a female novelist to compare the pain.

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Salman Rushdie

Sometimes you find your voice by trying to write like people, and sometimes you find it by trying to write unlike people.

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Salman Rushdie

Such is the miraculous nature of the future of exiles: what is first uttered in the impotence of an overheated apartment becomes the fate of nations.

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Salman Rushdie

The answer to religion is not no religion, but another way of thinking of it. Another way of being in it.

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Salman Rushdie

The Chinese are good at repression and can be pretty ruthless about it.

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Salman Rushdie

The Christian Coalition is still about Christianity, even if it's an idea of Christianity that many Christians might not go along with.

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Salman Rushdie

The frustrating part of being tagged 'controversial' is people go looking for trouble where there isn't any to look for.

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Salman Rushdie

The glamour of being forbidden must not be underestimated.

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Salman Rushdie

The Muslim population in India is, largely speaking, not radicalised. From the beginning, they were always very secular-minded.

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Salman Rushdie

The only thing worse than a bad review from the Ayatollah Khomeini would be a good review from the Ayatollah Khomeini.

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Salman Rushdie

The only way to find out why someone decides to engage in armed combat is to look at their individual personality.

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Salman Rushdie

The people suffering most from the Taliban were Afghans.

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Salman Rushdie

The problem of telling contemporary history is that your message gets outdated.

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Salman Rushdie

The publishing of a book is a worldwide event. The attempt to suppress a book is a worldwide event.

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Salman Rushdie

The Republicans were not always insane. They might've had politics I didn't agree with, but they weren't always actually certifiable.

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Salman Rushdie

'The Satanic Verses' was denied the ordinary life of a novel. It became something smaller and uglier: an insult.

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Salman Rushdie

The sixty-minute drama form has become very rich.

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Salman Rushdie

The way you write a screenplay is that you close your eyes and run the movie in your head and then you write it down.

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Salman Rushdie

The West sees Iran as an important force in the gulf.

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Salman Rushdie

The West was involved in toppling the Mossadegh government. That ultimately led to the Iranian revolution.

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Salman Rushdie

The whole story of migration and what that has done in interconnecting the planet is obviously something I've written about a lot.

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Salman Rushdie

There is no such thing as perfect security, only varying levels of insecurity.

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Salman Rushdie

We are the storytelling animal.

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Salman Rushdie

We cannot allow religious hooligans to place limiting points on thought.

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Salman Rushdie

When you are making an independent film, money is never an issue.

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Salman Rushdie

When you have children, your perspective on the parent-child relationship alters.

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Salman Rushdie

Writers have an opinion about the world and offer arguments about the world. They should offer contemplation.

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Salman Rushdie

Writers have been in terrible situations and have yet managed to produce extraordinary work.

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Salman Rushdie

You can't have modern states based on ideas which have been out of date for a thousand years.

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Salman Rushdie

You don't fight radical conservatism with not-quite-so radical conservatism.

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Salman Rushdie

You don't that often see writers being sought out when there are matters of great moment to discuss. And I think that's a loss.

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Salman Rushdie

You want all your books to stick around after you've gone.

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Salman Rushdie

There's a lot of conflict and darkness inside everybody's family. We all pretend to outsiders that it's not so, but behind locked doors, there are usually high emotions running.

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Salman Rushdie

The accidents of my life have given me the ability to make stories in which different parts of the world are brought together, sometimes harmoniously, sometimes in conflict, and sometimes both - usually...

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Salman Rushdie

I think if we wish to live in any kind of a moral universe, we must hold the perpetrators of violence responsible for the violence they perpetrate. It's very simple. The criminal is responsible for the...

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Salman Rushdie

It's so disappointing, to put it mildly, that people know so much about my life. Because it means that they're always trying to look at my books in terms of my life.

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Salman Rushdie

But there's one thing we must all be clear about: terrorism is not the pursuit of legitimate goals by some sort of illegitimate means. Whatever the murderers may be trying to achieve, creating a better...

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Salman Rushdie

Friendships are the family we make - not the one we inherit. I've always been someone to whom friendship, elective affinities, is as important as family.

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Salman Rushdie

I do think of Bombay as my hometown. Those are the streets I walked when I was learning to walk. And it's the place that my imagination has returned to more than anywhere else.

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Salman Rushdie

I don't feel American. I do feel like a New Yorker. I think there's a real distinction there. A city allows you to become a citizen even when you're not a national.

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Salman Rushdie

If you take a look at history, you will find that the understanding of what is good and evil has always existed before the individual religions. The religions were only invented by people afterwards, in...

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Salman Rushdie

In the '50s, listening to Elvis and others on the radio in Bombay - it didn't feel alien. Noises made by a truck driver from Tupelo, Mississippi, seemed relevant to a middle-class kid growing up on the...

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Salman Rushdie

It is literature which for me opened the mysterious and decisive doors of imagination and understanding. To see the way others see. To think the way others think. And above all, to feel.

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Salman Rushdie

Someone asked me if I was afraid to write my memoirs. I told him: 'We have to stop drawing up accounts of fear! We live in a society in which people are allowed to tell their story, and that is what I...

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Salman Rushdie

There are two things in Indian history - one is the incredible optimism and potential of the place, and the other is the betrayal of that potential - for example, corruption. Those two strands intertwine...

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Salman Rushdie

Actually, I don't even like parties. I would much prefer a room with four friends who sit around and have dinner. I detest nightclubs. And I don't like places where the noise is so loud you can't talk...

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Salman Rushdie

Anyone who has had the experience of going through American security checks knows the purpose of these checks is not to make you safer; it's just to annoy you.

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Salman Rushdie

As a writer, one of the things we all learned from the movies was a kind of compression that didn't exist before people were used to watching films. For instance, if you wanted to write a flashback in...

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Salman Rushdie

At the height of the British Empire very few English novels were written that dealt with British power. It's extraordinary that at the moment in which England was the global superpower the subject of British...

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Salman Rushdie

Certainly, poverty and economic decline have a lot to do with the so-called rage of Islam. You've got all these young men in countries which are economically in bad shape. The idea that they might be able...

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Salman Rushdie

Doris Lessing really doesn't care what the critics say. In fact, she orders her publishers not to send her the reviews and gets cross with them if they do because she doesn't want that in her head. She's...

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Salman Rushdie

Every time you finish a book, you have a terrible feeling that there's just never going to be another one. But fortunately, so far, the next one has always shown up.

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Salman Rushdie

Have you noticed the physical resemblance between Imran Khan and Gaddafi? If you were making a movie of the life of Gaddafi and you wanted a slightly better-looking version of Gaddafi, you might cast Imran...

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Salman Rushdie

Human beings, you see, do absolutely two primary things. We see like and unlike. Like becomes, in literature, simile and metaphor. Unlike becomes uniqueness and difference, from which I believe, the novel...

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Salman Rushdie

I am certainly not a good Muslim. But I am able now to say that I am Muslim; in fact it is a source of happiness to say that I am now inside, and a part of the community whose values have always been closest...

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Salman Rushdie

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....

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Salman Rushdie

I do have a lot of time for people in my life, and friendship is a very important subject for me. I think I'm unusual among the writers I know in that respect.

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Salman Rushdie

I do think there was a period there when my sanity was under intense pressure, and I didn't know what to say or do or how to act. I was literally living from day to day.

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Salman Rushdie

I don't read my books, I write them. Once I've finished the many years it usually takes me to write them, I can't bear to read them, because I've spent too long with them already. I'm not advertising them...

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Salman Rushdie

I have always thought, the secret purpose of the book tour is to make the writer hate the book he's written. And, as a result, drive him to write another book.

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Salman Rushdie

I have had many more close women friends than men, and I've always assumed that comes from the fact that in my family there was such a disproportionate female element.

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Salman Rushdie

I only met Margaret Thatcher twice. The thing that I thought about meeting her was how extraordinarily intelligent she was. You really had to be on your game; otherwise, she'd make mincemeat of you.

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Salman Rushdie

I saw Quentin Tarantino's 'Django Unchained,' and you could say a lot of things against it, but it was incredible fun. I don't like blood and gore, and I am very squeamish about violence, but Tarantino's...

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Salman Rushdie

I think, in a written novel, the way in which you play with the readers' emotion or the way in which you engage the readers' emotions can be very indirect. You could come at it through irony or comedy,...

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Salman Rushdie

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.

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Salman Rushdie

I used to write a monthly column for the 'New York Times' syndicate. But I stopped because I found it really hard to have one extreme opinion a month. I don't know how these columnists have two or three...

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Salman Rushdie

I was 21 in 1968, so I'm as much a child of the '60s as is possible to be. In those years the subject of religion had really almost disappeared; the idea that religion was going to be a major force in...

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Salman Rushdie

I was very happy in Bombay. I was good at school. There was no reason to change anything. I suppose it must have been some spirit of adventure, of wanting to see the world.

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Salman Rushdie

I would argue that religion comes from a desire to get to the questions of, 'Where do we come from?' and 'How shall we live?' And I would say I don't need religion to answer those questions.

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Salman Rushdie

I'm a reader of Chinese literature, I like their films, but also: I've had great difficulty getting my work published in China; very little of it has been published there. The first two attempts to have...

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Salman Rushdie

I'm not a very big fan of 'Slumdog Millionaire.' I think it's visually brilliant. But I have problems with the story line. I find the storyline unconvincing.

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Salman Rushdie

I've been fascinated by Machiavelli since I was very young. I've always felt that he had a bad rap from history, and that he was actually a person quite unlike what we now think of as Machiavellian. He...

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Salman Rushdie

I've met the Dalai Lama briefly, but I would probably say my grandfather was the wisest person I ever met. He was my mother's father, an Indian, a family doctor, and very unlike me in that he was deeply...

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Salman Rushdie

I've never seen anywhere in the world as beautiful as Kashmir. It has something to do with the fact that the valley is very small and the mountains are very big, so you have this miniature countryside...

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Salman Rushdie

If I had simply wanted to trade on an insult to Islam, I could have done it in a sentence rather than writing a 250,000-word novel, a work of fiction.

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Salman Rushdie

If I were dead, then nobody in England would have to fuss about the cost of my security and whether or not I merited such special treatment for so long.

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Salman Rushdie

If terrorism is to be defeated, the world of Islam must take on board the secularist-humanist principles on which the modern is based, and without which Muslim countries' freedom will remain a distant...

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Salman Rushdie

If the culture shifts, if people think differently about women, the art will shift, too. You can't ask art to make social change. It's not what it's for.

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Salman Rushdie

If there were Israeli attacks on Iranian nuclear facilities, it makes it certain there would be a reprisal attack against the United States at some point.

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Salman Rushdie

If you live in free countries, you don't have to spend all your life arguing about freedom because it is all around you. It seems redundant to make a lot of noise about something when, in fact, there it...

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Salman Rushdie

If you look at Indian movies, every time they wanted an exotic locale, they would have a dance number in Kashmir. Kashmir was India's fairyland. Indians went there because in a hot country you go to a...

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Salman Rushdie

If you're on a freeway and want to know if you're being followed, what you do is enormously vary your speed. You accelerate to 100 and slow down to 30 and then accelerate again. In a city, you make a lot...

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Salman Rushdie

In an ideal world, you could reunite the Pakistan-occupied part of Kashmir with the Indian-occupied part and restore the old borders. You could have both India and Pakistan agreeing to guarantee those...

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Salman Rushdie

In any authoritarian society, the possessor of power dictates, and if you try and step outside, he will come after you. This is equally true of Sovietism, of China and of Iran, and in our time it has happened...

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Salman Rushdie

In early Islam, it was an absolute tenet that the prophet was not to be worshipped. The prophet was a messenger. And one of the things that's happened in Islam is this cult of the prophet, which to my...

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Salman Rushdie

In writing 'The Satanic Verses,' I think I was writing for the first time from the whole of myself. The English part, the Indian part. The part of me that loves London, and the part that longs for Bombay....

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Salman Rushdie

Islam is unusual in that it's the only one of the great world religions which was born inside recorded history. That there's an enormous amount of factual historical record about the life of a prophet...

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Salman Rushdie

It's one thing to say, 'I don't like what you said to me and I find it rude and offensive,' but the moment you threaten violence in return, you've taken it to another level, where you lose whatever credibility...

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Salman Rushdie

Like everybody else, I've had relationships in which I was passionately in love but was completely miserable all the time and didn't trust the person I was in love with one inch.

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Salman Rushdie

Many of us didn't believe in the image of bin Laden as a wandering Old Man of the Mountains, living on plants and insects in an inhospitable cave somewhere on the porous Pakistan-Afghan border.

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Salman Rushdie

Matthew Wiener on 'Mad Men' writes the entire series before they start shooting, and if you have that, then what you can do with character and story is not at all unlike what you can do in a novel.

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Salman Rushdie

Most American writers don't get asked their opinion on current affairs, whereas in Europe and England, we still do. There are writers here who are the most sophisticated commentators, but they're not asked....

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Salman Rushdie

My first novel - the novel I wrote before 'Midnight's Children' - feels, to me, now, very - I mean, I get embarrassed when I see people reading it. You know, there are some people who, bizarrely, like...

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Salman Rushdie

One of the reasons my name is Rushdie is that my father was an admirer of Ibn Rush'd, the 12th century Arab philosopher known as Averroes in the West. In his time, he was making the non-literalist case...

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Salman Rushdie

One of the things I do take some pride in is that if you had never read an article about my life, if you knew nothing about me, except that my books were being set in front of you to read, and if you were...

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Salman Rushdie

One of the things I've learnt is not to depend on there being a woman in your life to make it work. I love my work, I love my children, I've got wonderful friends, you know, I have a nice life.

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Salman Rushdie

Out-of-step intellectuals like Noam Chomsky and the deceased Edward Said have often been dismissed as crazy extremists, 'anti-American,' and in Mr. Said's case even, absurdly, as apologists for Palestinian...

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Salman Rushdie

Pakistan is alarmed by the rising Indian influence in Afghanistan, and fears that an Afghanistan cleansed of the Taliban would be an Indian client state, thus sandwiching Pakistan between two hostile countries....

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Salman Rushdie

People must be protected from prejudice against their person. But people cannot be protected from prejudice against their ideas - because otherwise we're all done.

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Salman Rushdie

Perhaps because my relationship with my father went through such a long, bumpy time, it's been very important for me to work to try to keep lines of communication open between my sons and myself to try...

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Salman Rushdie

Rohinton Mistry's celebrated novel 'Such a Long Journey' was pulled off the syllabus of Mumbai University because local extremists objected to its content.

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Salman Rushdie

Self-censorship is a lie to yourself; if you are going to be trying to seriously create art, to create literary art, and you decide to hold back, to censor yourself, then you are a fool to yourself and...

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Salman Rushdie

Sometimes I think that when people become famous, there's a public perception that they are not human beings any more. They don't have feelings; they don't get hurt; you can act and say as you like about...

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Salman Rushdie

Speaking as somebody with three sisters and a very largely female Muslim family, there is not a single woman I know in my family or in their friends who would have accepted the wearing of a veil.

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Salman Rushdie

Stories in families are colossally important. Every family has stories: some funny, some proud, some embarrassing, some shameful. Knowing them is proof of belonging to the family.

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Salman Rushdie

The difference between memoir and autobiography, as far as I see it, is that a memoir is there primarily to tell one particular story, whereas an autobiography tries to be a full account of a life.

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Salman Rushdie

The enemy for the fanatic is pleasure, which makes it extremely important to continue to indulge in pleasure. Dance madly. That is how you get rid of terrorism.

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Salman Rushdie

The field of the novel is very rich. If you're a composer, you're well aware of the history of composition, and you are trying to make your music part of that history. You're not ahistorical. In the same...

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Salman Rushdie

The First Amendment defends all forms of speech including hate speech, which is why groups like Ku Klux Klan are allowed to utter their poisonous remarks.

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Salman Rushdie

The gamble of literature is that I make the best work I can; the most truthful, the most representative of how I see things. I try and do that, and then I put it out there and say to you, 'What do you...

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Salman Rushdie

The great concern is that year after year, rising numbers of journalists are being killed in pursuit of their work. They are increasingly seen as not being neutral but rather as combatants by one side...

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Salman Rushdie

The interesting thing about history sometimes. is that you know these people existed, and you knew what jobs they did, but you don't know much about them as people, so you actually have to make them up.

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Salman Rushdie

The Koran was revealed at a time of great change in the Arab world, the seventh-century shift from a matriarchal nomadic culture to an urban patriarchal system.

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Salman Rushdie

The miniatures of the Mughal period are really the pinnacle of Indian artistic achievement. And not a single one of those paintings is done by an individual artist.

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Salman Rushdie

The mistake of the West was to put the Sauds on the throne of Saudi Arabia and give them control of the world's oil fortune, which they then used to propagate Wahhabi Islam.

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Salman Rushdie

The question I'm always asking myself is: are we masters or victims? Do we make history, or does history make us? Do we shape the world, or are we just shaped by it? The question of do we have agency in...

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Salman Rushdie

The response of anybody interested in liberty is that we all have a say and the ability to have an argument is exactly what liberty is, even though it may never be resolved. In any authoritarian society...

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Salman Rushdie

The suicide bomber's imagination leads him to believe in a brilliant act of heroism, when in fact he is simply blowing himself up pointlessly and taking other people's lives.

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Salman Rushdie

The thing about literature is that, yes, there are kind of tides of fashion, you know; people come in and out of fashion; writers who are very celebrated fall into, you know, people you know stop reading...

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Salman Rushdie

The thing I really like about Twitter is the speed with which information reaches me. You find out things from Twitter long before they're on the news. That, I think, is valuable.

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Salman Rushdie

The thing that always attracted me to New York was the sense of being in a place where a lot of people had a lot of stories not unlike mine. Everybody comes from somewhere else. Everyone's got a Polish...

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Salman Rushdie

The West should be tougher on Pakistan. It is trying to play both ends against the middle - to look like the friend of the revolutionaries on the one hand and a friend of the West in the fight against...

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Salman Rushdie

The writers of the French enlightenment had deliberately used blasphemy as a weapon, refusing to accept the power of the Church to set limiting points on thought.

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Salman Rushdie

There is a widespread difficulty in the Muslim world, which has to do with how the people are taught about examining their own history. A whole range of stuff has been placed off limits.

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Salman Rushdie

There is nothing intrinsic linking any religion with any act of violence. The crusades don't prove that Christianity was violent. The Inquisition doesn't prove that Christianity tortures people. But that...

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Salman Rushdie

There was a series called 'Game of Thrones' which was very popular here in the United States, a post-Tolkien kind of thing. It was garbage, yet very addictive garbage - because there's lots of violence,...

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Salman Rushdie

This is going to make me sound ancient, but I remember Juhu Beach when there weren't any buildings on it. You'd go through countryside and arrive at this amazing beach. I remember driving from Delhi to...

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Salman Rushdie

This paranoid Islam, which blames outsider, 'infidels', for all the ills of Muslim societies, and whose proposed remedy is the closing of those societies to the rival project of modernity, is presently...

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Salman Rushdie

This strange business of what it is to be a writer is this increasingly insane world in which we live, in which surrealism, it seems, is the new realism.

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Salman Rushdie

Thomas Pynchon looks exactly like Thomas Pynchon should look. He is tall, he wears lumberjack shirts and blue jeans. He has Albert Einstein white hair and Bugs Bunny front teeth.

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Salman Rushdie

Two things form the bedrock of any open society - freedom of expression and rule of law. If you don't have those things, you don't have a free country.

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Salman Rushdie

War used to be something you could stand on the nearby hill and watch. Now we have total war; everybody's in it. We have total economics as well. Everything affects everybody. The Malaysian currency shakes,...

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Salman Rushdie

We all dream things into being; you imagine yourself having a child, and then you have a child. An inventor will think of something in his mind and then make it actual. So things are often passing from...

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Salman Rushdie

We live in a frightened time, and people self-censor all the time and are afraid of going into some subjects because they are worried about violent reactions.

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Salman Rushdie

What happened in Pakistan was that people were told: You're all Muslim, so now you're a country. As we saw in 1971 with the Bangladesh secession, the answer to that was: 'Oh no, we're not.'

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Salman Rushdie

What I worry about and don't like is the way in which the ideology of multiculturalism has declined into cultural relativism. I think that's very dangerous. When the Archbishop of Canterbury, for God's...

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Salman Rushdie

What I've always tried to find in my books are points at which the private lives of the characters, and also my own, intersect with the public life of the culture.

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Salman Rushdie

When 'Midnight's Children' came out, people in the West tended to respond to the fantasy elements in the novel, to praise it in those terms. In India, people read it like a history book.

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Salman Rushdie

When I was writing 'The Satanic Verses,' if you had asked me about the phenomenon that we all now know as radical Islam, I wouldn't have had much to say. As recently as the mid-1980s, it didn't seem to...

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Salman Rushdie

When I'm writing a book, sentence by sentence, I'm not thinking theoretically. I'm just trying to work out the story from inside the characters I've got.

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Salman Rushdie

When I'm writing books, something weird happens; and the result is the books contain a large amount of what you could call 'supernaturalism.' As a writer, I find I need that to explain the world I'm writing...

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Salman Rushdie

When you are writing a book, it feels as if you are simply concentrating on the world of the book and that whatever is happening in your personal life is outside the room, as it were. But maybe that's...

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Salman Rushdie

When you start writing about the stuff that is the central experience of your own life, you can talk about whatever you want, in whatever way you want.

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Salman Rushdie

In the end, you write the book that grabs you by the throat and demands to be written.

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Salman Rushdie

Between the adored and the adorer falls the shadow.

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Salman Rushdie

This may be the curse of human race . Not that we are different from one anther , but we are so alike .

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Salman Rushdie

We are the only animals that tell stories to understand the world we live in.

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Salman Rushdie

I stand with Charlie Hebdo, as we all must, to defend the art of satire, which has always been a force for liberty and against tyranny, dishonesty and stupidity.

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Salman Rushdie

The fact of being alive compensated for what life did to one.

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Salman Rushdie

If somebody's trying to shut you up, sing louder, and if possible, better.

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Salman Rushdie

We must conclude that it is not only a particular political ideology that has failed, but the idea that men and women could ever define themselves in terms that exclude their spiritual needs.

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Salman Rushdie

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 and of...

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Salman Rushdie

Is birth always a fall?

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Salman Rushdie

Can one drown in one's element... If fish can drown in water, can human beings suffocate in air?

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Salman Rushdie

Believe in your own eyes and you'll get into a lot of trouble, hot water, a mess.

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Salman Rushdie

He knew what he knew: that the real world was full of magic, so magical worlds could easily be real.

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Salman Rushdie

All names mean something.

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Salman Rushdie

Not all possibilities are open to us. The world is finite; our hopes spill over its rim.

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Salman Rushdie

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

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Salman Rushdie

If love is a yearning to be like (even to become) the beloved, then hatred, it must be said, can be engendered by the same ambition, when it cannot be fulfilled.

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Salman Rushdie

Captain Ahab drowned, he reminded himself; it was the trimmer, Ishmael, who survived.

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Salman Rushdie

The world, somebody wrote, is the place we prove real by dying in it.

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Salman Rushdie

Free speech is life itself.

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Salman Rushdie

Memory has its own special kind. It selects, eliminates, alters, exaggerates, minimizes, glorifies, and vilifies also; but in the end it creates its own reality, its heterogeneous but usually coherent...

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Salman Rushdie

Make as much racket as you like people. Noise is life and an excess of noise is a sign that life is good. There will be time for us all to be quiet when we are safely dead.

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Salman Rushdie

In the waking dreams our societies permit, in our myths, our arts, our songs, we celebrate the nonbelongers, the different ones, the outlaws, the freaks.

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Salman Rushdie

Religion, a medieval form of unreason, when combined with modern weaponry becomes a real threat to our freedoms. This religious totalitarianism has caused a deadly mutation in the heart of Islam and we...

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Salman Rushdie

Unless, of course, there's no such thing as chance;...in which case, we should either-optimistically-get up and cheer, because if everything is planned in advance, then we all have a meaning and are spared...

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Salman Rushdie

The moment you declare a set of ideas to be immune from criticism, satire, derision, or contempt, freedom of thought becomes impossible.

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Salman Rushdie

Realism can break a writer's heart.

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Salman Rushdie

O the shame of it, the humiliating shame of being condescended to by dolts

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Salman Rushdie

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.

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Salman Rushdie

Meaning is a shaky edifice we build out of scraps, dogmas, childhood injuries, newspaper articles, chance remarks, old fillms, small victories, people hated, people loved; perhaps it is because our sense...

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Salman Rushdie

Sometimes we feel we straddle two cultures; at other times, that we fall between two stools.

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Salman Rushdie

The only privilege literature deserves - and this privilege it requires in order to exist - is the privilege of being in the arena of discourse, the place where the struggle of our languages can be acted...

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Salman Rushdie

The liveliness of literature lies in its exceptionality, in being the individual, idiosyncratic vision of one human being, in which, to our delight and great surprise, we may find our own vision reflected.

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Salman Rushdie

To be born again,' sang Gibreal Farishta tumbling from the heaveans, 'first you have to die. Ho ji! Ho ji! To land upon the bosomy earth, first one needs to fly Tat-taa! Takatun! How to ever smile again,...

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Salman Rushdie

Until you know who you are you can’t write.

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Salman Rushdie

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

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Salman Rushdie

If you want to tell the untold stories, if you want to give voice to the voiceless, you've got to find a language. Which goes for film as well as prose, for documentary as well as autobiography. Use the...

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Salman Rushdie

Freedom is not a tea party, India. Freedom is a war.

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Salman Rushdie

Not even the visionary or mystical experience ever lasts very long. It is for art to capture that experience, to offer it to, in the case of literature, its readers; to be, for a secular, materialist culture,...

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Salman Rushdie

Everest silences you...when you come down, nothing seems worth saying, nothing at all. You find the nothingness wrapping you up, like a sound. Non-being. You can't keep it up, of course. the world rushes...

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Salman Rushdie

Our human tragedy is that we are unable to comprehend our experience, it slips through our fingers, we can't hold on to it, and the more time passes, the harder it gets...My father said that the natural...

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Salman Rushdie

Masks beneath masks until suddenly the bare bloodless skull.

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Salman Rushdie

Exile is a dream of a glorious return. Exile is a vision of revolution: Elba, not St Helena. It is an endless paradox: looking forward by always looking back. The exile is a ball hurled high into the air.

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Salman Rushdie

perhaps, if one wishes to remain an individual in the midst of the teeming multitudes, one must make oneself grotesque.

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Salman Rushdie

One of the things a writer is for is to say the unsayable, speak the unspeakable and ask difficult questions.

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Salman Rushdie

I stand with Charlie Hebdo, as we all must, to defend the art of satire

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Salman Rushdie

You never know the answers to the questions of life until you are asked.

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Salman Rushdie

Ignorantly is how we all fall in love; for it is a kind of fall. Closing our eyes, we leap from that cliff in hope of a soft landing. Nor is it always soft; but still, without that leap nobody comes to...

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Salman Rushdie

Where there is no belief, there is no blasphemy.

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Salman Rushdie

Laila Lalami has fashioned an absorbing story of one of the first encounters between Spanish conquistadores and Native Americans, a frightening, brutal, and much-falsified history that here, in her brilliantly...

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Salman Rushdie

Reality is a question of perspective;

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Salman Rushdie

Originality is dangerous. It challenges, questions, overturns assumptions, unsettles moral codes.

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Salman Rushdie

Five mysteries hold the keys to the unseen: the act of love, and the birth of a baby, and the contemplation of great art, and being in the presence of death or disaster, and hearing the human voice lifted...

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Salman Rushdie

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 more and more incredible.

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Salman Rushdie

If by some bizarre chance there turns out to be a god [...], I'm willing to bet he's an atheist too.

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Salman Rushdie

Don't you know girls have to fool people every day of their lives if they want to get anywhere?

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Salman Rushdie

It matters, it always matters, to name rubbish as rubbish ... to do otherwise is to legitimize it.

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Salman Rushdie

There needs to be a thorough examination, by Muslims everywhere, of why it is that the faith they love breeds so many violent mutant strains.

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Salman Rushdie

Things, even people have a way of leaking into each other like flavours when you cook.

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Salman Rushdie

Khattam-Shud,' he said slowly, 'is the Arch-Enemy of all Stories, even of language itself. He is the Prince of Silence and the Foe of Speech. And because everything ends, because dreams end, stories end,...

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Salman Rushdie

For every snake, there is a ladder; for every ladder,a snake

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Salman Rushdie

When...did it become irrational to dislike religion, any religion, even to dislike it vehemently? When did reason get redescribed as unreason? When were the fairy stories of the superstitious placed above...

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Salman Rushdie

We are described into corners, and then we must describe ourselves out of corners.

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Salman Rushdie

Those who do not have power over the story that dominates their lives, power to retell it, to rethink it, deconstruct it, joke about it, and change it as times change, truly are powerless, because they...

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Salman Rushdie

The lessons one learns at school are not always the ones the school thinks it's teaching.

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Salman Rushdie

To understand just one life you have to swallow the world ... do you wonder, then, that I was a heavy child?

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Salman Rushdie

Free societies...are societies in motion, and with motion comes tension, dissent, friction. Free people strike sparks, and those sparks are the best evidence of freedom's existence.

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Salman Rushdie

We all owe death a life.

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Salman Rushdie

Now I know what a ghost is. Unfinished business, that's what.

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Salman Rushdie

Life is lived forward but is judged in reverse.

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Salman Rushdie

I learned: the first lesson of my life: nobody can face the world with his eyes open all the time.

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Salman Rushdie

We were language's magpies by nature, stealing whatever sounded bright and shiny.

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Salman Rushdie

When you know what you're against you have taken the first step to discovering what you're for.

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Salman Rushdie

One either loves, or waits for love, or banishes love for good. That is the full range of possible choices.

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Salman Rushdie

When we stop believing in the gods we can start believing in their stories.

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Salman Rushdie

The beautiful came to this city [Hollywood] in huge pathetic herds, to suffer, to be humiliated, to see the powerful currency of their beauty devalued like the Russian ruble or Argentine peso;to work as...

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Salman Rushdie

Language is courage: the ability to conceive a thought, to speak it, and by doing so to make it true.

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Salman Rushdie

When a reader falls in love with a book, it leaves its essence inside him, like radioactive fallout in an arable field, and after that there are certain crops that will no longer grow in him, while other,...

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Salman Rushdie

I don't think I've ever quite grown out of it, actually. There was a point where I could recite some of those Elvish verses - which I've mercifully forgotten. But I can still, if really pushed, recite...

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Salman Rushdie

One minute you've got a lucky star watching over you and the next instant it's done a bunk.

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Salman Rushdie

As I look back, I feel a touch of pride at my younger self's dedication to literature, which gave him the strength of mind to resist the blandishments of the enemies of promise. The sirens of ad-land sang...

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Salman Rushdie

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

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Salman Rushdie

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.

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Salman Rushdie

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.

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Salman Rushdie

My love for Dan Brown knows no bounds. It literally has no mass.

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Salman Rushdie

Question: What is the opposite of faith? Not disbelief. Too final, certain, closed. Itself is a kind of belief. Doubt.

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Salman Rushdie

Sometimes, people trying to commit suicide manage it in a manner that leaves them breathless with astonishment.

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Salman Rushdie

What kind of Christmas present would Jesus ask Santa for?

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Salman Rushdie

I want more than what I want. (Vina Apsara)

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Salman Rushdie

Whenever someone who knows you disappears, you lose one version of yourself. Yourself as you were seen, as you were judged to be. Lover or enemy, mother or friend, those who know us construct us, and their...

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Salman Rushdie

Our lives disconnect and reconnect, we move on, and later we may again touch one another, again bounce away. This is the felt shape of a human life, neither simply linear nor wholly disjunctive nor endlessly...

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Salman Rushdie

Between shame and shamelessness lies the axis upon which we turn; meteorological conditions at both these poles are of the most extreme, ferocious type. Shamelessness, shame: the roots of violence.

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Salman Rushdie

What you were is forever who you are.

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Salman Rushdie

India, the new myth--a collective fiction in which anything was possible, a fable rivalled only by the two other mighty fantasies: money and God.

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Salman Rushdie

I have been only the humblest jugglers-with-facts; and that, in a country where the truth is what it is instructed to be, reality quite literally ceases to exist, so that everything becomes possible except...

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Salman Rushdie

I fell victim to the temptation of every autobiographer, to the illusion that since the past exists only in one's memories and the words which strive vainly to encapsulate them, it is possible to create...

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Salman Rushdie

optimism is a disease

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Salman Rushdie

...in words and pickles, I have immortalized my memories, although distortions are inevitable in both methods. We must live, I'm afraid, with the shadows of imperfections.

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Salman Rushdie

The USA approach looks like bullying because it is.

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Salman Rushdie

What grows best in the heat: fantasy; unreason; lust.

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Salman Rushdie

He had picked up languages the way most sailors pick up diseases; languages were his gonorrhoea, his syphilis, his scurvy, his ague, his plague.

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Salman Rushdie

Good advice is rarer than rubies.

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Salman Rushdie

In India, as elsewhere in our darkening world, religion is the poison in the blood. Where religion intervenes, mere innocence is no excuse. Yet we go on skating around this issue, speaking of religion...

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Salman Rushdie

There is nothing like a War for the reinvention of lives...

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Salman Rushdie

Everything has shape, if you look for it. There is no escape from form.

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Salman Rushdie

Among the great struggles of man-good/evil, reason/unreason, etc.-there is also this mighty conflict between the fantasy of Home and the fantasy of Away, the dream of roots and the mirage of the journey.

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Salman Rushdie

What had been (at the beginning) no bigger than a full stop had expanded into a comma, a word, a sentence, a paragraph, a chapter; now it was bursting into more complex developments, becoming, one might...

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Related quote

Salman Rushdie

The accidents of my life have given me the ability to make stories in which different parts of the world are brought together, sometimes harmoniously, sometimes in conflict, and sometimes both - usually...

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Donald Miller

Sometimes when I watch my dog, I think about how good life can be, if we only lose ourselves in our stories. Lucy doesn't read self-help books about how to be a dog; she just IS a dog. All she wants to...

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Barry Lopez

Remember on this one thing, said Badger. The stories people tell have a way of taking care of them. If stories come to you, care for them. And learn to give them away where they are needed. Sometimes a...

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Penelope Cruz

Ever since I was a little girl, I've worried too much. It always bothers me because sometimes you end up worrying more about the worry and you are not resolving things that are right there in front of...

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Dorothy Allison

I want hard stories, I demand them from myself. Hard stories are worth the difficulty. It seems to me the only way I have forgiven anything, understood anything, is through that process of opening up to...

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Saoirse Ronan

Sometimes the director will want you to write about the character, sometimes he'll want you to live in the location that the character is from or something like that, but I don't usually make a lot of...

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Stana Katic

People in life take on certain stories and say, 'I'm going to be defined by this story and I'm going to live up to every inch of this story.' Sometimes you realize the story isn't fulfilling you and in...

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Laura Nyro

There are no limitations with a song. To me a song is a little piece of art. It can be whatever you like it to be. You can write the simplest song, and that's lovely, or you can just write a song that...

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J. K. Rowling

I think writing about the time in Hermione’s life that I write about – growing from childhood into womanhood, literally, I think it brought back to me how very difficult it is.So much is expected...

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Stephen King

There are books full of great writing that don't have very good stories. Read sometimes for the story... don't be like the book-snobs who won't do that. Read sometimes for the words--the language. Don't...

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Graham Nash

Life is not perfect. It never will be. You just have to make the very best of it, and you have to open your heart to what the world can show you; and sometimes it's terrifying, and sometimes it's incredibly...

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Sloane Crosley

In New York and L.A., there is sort of that silent competition to be on the cutting edge of something. You end up having a conversation with how the world receives your work, especially if you are writing...

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Paul O. Zelinsky

In its jolly mission to expose the dark underbelly of the children’s book world, Wild Things! turns up stories I’ve been hearing noised about for ages, but with a lot more detail and authenticity....

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Cassia Leo

There are moments in life, and they happen so infrequently that they tend to really stand out, when life hands you the gift of perspective. Sometimes, we forget to show our appreciation. Sometimes, we...

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Scott McCloud

Nobody knows what will work until they try it. Some of comics' biggest success stories in recent years have explored subjects that no one was writing about at the time - stories no one had any reason to...

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Robert Andrews Millikan

The fact that Science walks forward on two feet, namely theory and experiment, is nowhere better illustrated than in the two fields for slight contributions to which you have done me the great honour of...

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Stephen King

Bad writing is more than a matter of (expletive deleted) syntax and faulty observation; bad writing usually arises from a stubborn refusal to tell stories about what people actually do to face the fact,...

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Rajneesh

A life of both sadness and blissfulness is multi-dimensional; it moves in all dimensions together. Watch the statue of Buddha or sometimes look into my eyes and you will find both together - a blissfulness,...

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Albert Camus

Don't lies eventually lead to the truth? And don't all my stories, true or false, tend toward the same conclusion? Don't they all have the same meaning? So what does it matter whether they are true or...

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Carol Shields

It's the arrangement of events which makes the stories. It's throwing away, compressing, underlining. Hindsight can give structure to anything, but you have to be able to see it. Breathing, waking and...

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Joanna Russ

Long before I became a feminist in any explicit way, I had turned from writing love stories about women in which women were losers, and adventure stories about men in which the men were winners, to writing...

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“Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.”

― Dr. Seuss