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Salman Rushdie Quotes
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Salman Rushdie Quote: “BE A LAWYER in a lawless time was like being a clown among the humorless: which was to say, either completely redundant or absolutely essential.”

BE A LAWYER in a lawless time was like being a clown among the humorless: which was to say, either completely redundant or absolutely essential.

— Salman Rushdie



Salman Rushdie Quote: “Who am I? Let’s put it this way: who has the best tunes?”

Who am I? Let’s put it this way: who has the best tunes?

— Salman Rushdie


Salman Rushdie Quote: “It is the age of numbers, isn’t it? So we are numbers and the Elbees are words. We are mathemathics and they are poetry. We are winning and they are losing; and so of course they’re afraid of us, it’s like a struggle inside human nature itself, between what’s mechanical and utilitarian in us and the part that loves and dreams. We all fear that the cold machine-like thing in human nature will destroy our magic and song.”

It is the age of numbers, isn’t it? So we are numbers and the Elbees are words. We are mathemathics and they are poetry. We are winning and they are losing; and so of course they’re afraid of us, it’s like a struggle inside human nature itself, between what’s mechanical and utilitarian in us and the part that loves and dreams. We all fear that the cold machine-like thing in human nature will destroy our magic and song.

— Salman Rushdie


Salman Rushdie Quote: “If you live in the twentieth century you do not find it hard to see yourself in those, more desperate than yourself, who seek to shape it to their will.”

If you live in the twentieth century you do not find it hard to see yourself in those, more desperate than yourself, who seek to shape it to their will.

— Salman Rushdie


Salman Rushdie Quote: “Every quest takes places in both the sphere of the actual, which is what maps reveal to us, and in the sphere of the symbolic, for which the only maps are the unseen ones in our heads.”

Every quest takes places in both the sphere of the actual, which is what maps reveal to us, and in the sphere of the symbolic, for which the only maps are the unseen ones in our heads.

— Salman Rushdie


Salman Rushdie Quote: “All of us are in two stories at the same time,” said the sandwich lady. “Life and Times. There is our own personal story, and the bigger story of what’s happening around us. When both are in trouble simultaneously, when the crisis inside you intersects with the crisis outside you, things get a little crazy.”

All of us are in two stories at the same time,” said the sandwich lady. “Life and Times. There is our own personal story, and the bigger story of what’s happening around us. When both are in trouble simultaneously, when the crisis inside you intersects with the crisis outside you, things get a little crazy.

— Salman Rushdie


Salman Rushdie Quote: “To understand just one life, you have to swallow the world.”

To understand just one life, you have to swallow the world.

— Salman Rushdie


Salman Rushdie Quote: “He remembered the old Chinese proverb, sometimes ascribed to Confucius: If you sit by the river for long enough, the body of your enemy will float by.”

He remembered the old Chinese proverb, sometimes ascribed to Confucius: If you sit by the river for long enough, the body of your enemy will float by.

— Salman Rushdie


Salman Rushdie Quote: “And – as is perhaps the universal custom of aristocratically bred persons – they reacted to the news of their ruin by resolving to throw a party.”

And – as is perhaps the universal custom of aristocratically bred persons – they reacted to the news of their ruin by resolving to throw a party.

— Salman Rushdie


Salman Rushdie Quote: “But sixteen years without optimism had taken a heavy toll;.”

But sixteen years without optimism had taken a heavy toll;.

— Salman Rushdie


Salman Rushdie Quote: “The terrible fatalism which had overcome me of late had taken on an even more terrible form; drowning in the disintegration of family, of both countries to which I had belonged, of everything which can sanely be called real, lost in the sorrow of my filthy unrequited love, I sought out the oblivion of – I’m making it sound too noble; no otorund phrases must be used. Baldly, then: I rode the night-streets of the city, looking for death.”

The terrible fatalism which had overcome me of late had taken on an even more terrible form; drowning in the disintegration of family, of both countries to which I had belonged, of everything which can sanely be called real, lost in the sorrow of my filthy unrequited love, I sought out the oblivion of – I’m making it sound too noble; no otorund phrases must be used. Baldly, then: I rode the night-streets of the city, looking for death.

— Salman Rushdie


Salman Rushdie Quote: “O, Need’s a funny fish: it makes people untruthful. They all suffer from it, but they will not always admit.”

O, Need’s a funny fish: it makes people untruthful. They all suffer from it, but they will not always admit.

— Salman Rushdie


Salman Rushdie Quote: “His beard was thick and red – and annoyed his mother, who said only Hajis, men who had made the pilgrimage to Mecca, should grow red beards. His hair, however, was rather darker. His sky-eyes you know about. Ingrid had said, “They went mad with the colors when they made your face.”

His beard was thick and red – and annoyed his mother, who said only Hajis, men who had made the pilgrimage to Mecca, should grow red beards. His hair, however, was rather darker. His sky-eyes you know about. Ingrid had said, “They went mad with the colors when they made your face.

— Salman Rushdie


Salman Rushdie Quote: “A poet’s work,’ he answers. ‘To name the unnamable, to point at frauds, to take sides, start arguments, shape the world and stop it from going to sleep.’ And if rivers of blood flow from the cuts his verses inflict, then they will nourish him. He is the satirist, Baal.”

A poet’s work,’ he answers. ‘To name the unnamable, to point at frauds, to take sides, start arguments, shape the world and stop it from going to sleep.’ And if rivers of blood flow from the cuts his verses inflict, then they will nourish him. He is the satirist, Baal.

— Salman Rushdie


Salman Rushdie Quote: “Love is spring after winter. It comes to heal life’s wounds, inflicted by the unloving cold.”

Love is spring after winter. It comes to heal life’s wounds, inflicted by the unloving cold.

— Salman Rushdie


Salman Rushdie Quote: “Then a strange moment came, a moment of the kind that determines the fate of nations, because when a crowd loses its fear of an army the world changes.”

Then a strange moment came, a moment of the kind that determines the fate of nations, because when a crowd loses its fear of an army the world changes.

— Salman Rushdie


Salman Rushdie Quote: “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 the dense, blinding air to the fabulous world beneath.”

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 the dense, blinding air to the fabulous world beneath.

— Salman Rushdie


Salman Rushdie Quote: “This is how we are: we fall in love with each other’s strengths, but love deepens towards permanence when we fall in love with each other’s weaknesses.”

This is how we are: we fall in love with each other’s strengths, but love deepens towards permanence when we fall in love with each other’s weaknesses.

— Salman Rushdie


Salman Rushdie Quote: “The enemy is stupid, he replied. That is ground for hope. There is no originality in tyrants, and they learn nothing from the demise of their precursors. They will be brutal and stifling and engender hatred and destroy what men love and that will defeat them. All important battles are, in the end, conflicts between hatred and love, and we must hold to the idea that love is stronger than hate.”

The enemy is stupid, he replied. That is ground for hope. There is no originality in tyrants, and they learn nothing from the demise of their precursors. They will be brutal and stifling and engender hatred and destroy what men love and that will defeat them. All important battles are, in the end, conflicts between hatred and love, and we must hold to the idea that love is stronger than hate.

— Salman Rushdie


Salman Rushdie Quote: “But but but what is the point of giving persons Freedom of Speech,’ declaimed Butt the Hoopoe, ’if you then say they must not utilize same? And is not the Power of Speech the greatest Power of all? Then surely it must be exercised to the full?”

But but but what is the point of giving persons Freedom of Speech,’ declaimed Butt the Hoopoe, ’if you then say they must not utilize same? And is not the Power of Speech the greatest Power of all? Then surely it must be exercised to the full?

— Salman Rushdie


Salman Rushdie Quote: “This is what I am not: I am not one thing. I contain multitudes.”

This is what I am not: I am not one thing. I contain multitudes.

— Salman Rushdie


Salman Rushdie Quote: “If we can cease envisaging ourselves as metaphorical foetuses, and substitute the image of a newborn child, then that will be at least a small intellectual advance. In time, perhaps, we may even learn to toddle.”

If we can cease envisaging ourselves as metaphorical foetuses, and substitute the image of a newborn child, then that will be at least a small intellectual advance. In time, perhaps, we may even learn to toddle.

— Salman Rushdie


Salman Rushdie Quote: “Civilsation is the sleight of hand that conceals our natures from ourselves.”

Civilsation is the sleight of hand that conceals our natures from ourselves.

— Salman Rushdie


Salman Rushdie Quote: “The people with whom you share a history: these are the people who can leave you shipwrecked and drowning.”

The people with whom you share a history: these are the people who can leave you shipwrecked and drowning.

— Salman Rushdie


Salman Rushdie Quote: “Parents are impelled by the profit motive – nothing more, nothing less. For their attentions, they expected, from me, the immense dividend of greatness.”

Parents are impelled by the profit motive – nothing more, nothing less. For their attentions, they expected, from me, the immense dividend of greatness.

— Salman Rushdie


Salman Rushdie Quote: “The process of revision should be constant and endless.”

The process of revision should be constant and endless.

— Salman Rushdie


Salman Rushdie Quote: “Life’s bruises demythologise us all. The earth gapes.”

Life’s bruises demythologise us all. The earth gapes.

— Salman Rushdie


Salman Rushdie Quote: “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 in soon enough. What shuts you up is, I think, the sight you’ve had of perfection: why speak if you can’t manage perfect thoughts, perfect sentences? It feels like a betrayal of what you’ve been through. But it fades; you accept that certain compromises, closures, are required if you’re to continue.”

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 in soon enough. What shuts you up is, I think, the sight you’ve had of perfection: why speak if you can’t manage perfect thoughts, perfect sentences? It feels like a betrayal of what you’ve been through. But it fades; you accept that certain compromises, closures, are required if you’re to continue.

— Salman Rushdie


Salman Rushdie Quote: “We, the public, are easily, lethally offended. We have come to think of taking offence as a fundamental right. We value very little more highly than our rage, which gives us, in our opinion, the moral high ground. From this high ground we can shoot down at our enemies and inflict heavy fatalities. We take pride in our short fuses. Our anger elevates, transcends.”

We, the public, are easily, lethally offended. We have come to think of taking offence as a fundamental right. We value very little more highly than our rage, which gives us, in our opinion, the moral high ground. From this high ground we can shoot down at our enemies and inflict heavy fatalities. We take pride in our short fuses. Our anger elevates, transcends.

— Salman Rushdie


Salman Rushdie Quote: “There is no bitterness like that of man who finds out he has been believing in a ghost.”

There is no bitterness like that of man who finds out he has been believing in a ghost.

— Salman Rushdie


Salman Rushdie Quote: “Is it possible to be jealous of written words?”

Is it possible to be jealous of written words?

— Salman Rushdie


Salman Rushdie Quote: “A little thinking is a dangerous thing.”

A little thinking is a dangerous thing.

— Salman Rushdie


Salman Rushdie Quote: “The rich are obscure to us, finding ways to be unhappy when all the normal causes of unhappiness are removed.”

The rich are obscure to us, finding ways to be unhappy when all the normal causes of unhappiness are removed.

— Salman Rushdie


Salman Rushdie Quote: “Systems of thought, and their antitheses as well, are merely codifications of what we think we know. When we begin to abandon them, we open ourselves to the immensity of the universe, and therefore also to immense possibilities, including the possibility of the impossible.”

Systems of thought, and their antitheses as well, are merely codifications of what we think we know. When we begin to abandon them, we open ourselves to the immensity of the universe, and therefore also to immense possibilities, including the possibility of the impossible.

— Salman Rushdie


Salman Rushdie Quote: “On December 15th, 1971, Tiger Niazi surrendered to Sam Manekshaw;.”

On December 15th, 1971, Tiger Niazi surrendered to Sam Manekshaw;.

— Salman Rushdie


Salman Rushdie Quote: “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. But we live on a broken mirror, and fresh cracks appear in its surface every day.”

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. But we live on a broken mirror, and fresh cracks appear in its surface every day.

— Salman Rushdie


Salman Rushdie Quote: “Easily found, easily gathered, lives were the small change of this world, and if you lost a few, it didn’t matter; there were always more.”

Easily found, easily gathered, lives were the small change of this world, and if you lost a few, it didn’t matter; there were always more.

— Salman Rushdie


Salman Rushdie Quote: “Honesty is not the best policy in life. Only, perhaps, in art.”

Honesty is not the best policy in life. Only, perhaps, in art.

— Salman Rushdie


Salman Rushdie Quote: “When Alice fell down the rabbit hole, it was an accident, but when she stepped through the looking glass, it was of her own free will, and a braver deed by far.”

When Alice fell down the rabbit hole, it was an accident, but when she stepped through the looking glass, it was of her own free will, and a braver deed by far.

— Salman Rushdie


Salman Rushdie Quote: “In these our degenerate times, men bent on nothing but vainglory and personal gain – hollow, bombastic men for whom nothing is off-limits if it advances their petty cause – will claim to be great leaders.”

In these our degenerate times, men bent on nothing but vainglory and personal gain – hollow, bombastic men for whom nothing is off-limits if it advances their petty cause – will claim to be great leaders.

— Salman Rushdie


Salman Rushdie Quote: “The city of Jahilia is built entirely of sand, its structures formed of the desert whence it rises. It is a sight to wonder at: walled, four-gated, the whole of it a miracle worked by its citizens, who have learned the trick of transforming the fine white dune-sand of those forsaken parts, – the very stuff of inconstancy, – the quintessence of unsettlement, shifting, treachery, lack-of-form, – and have turned it, by alchemy, into the fabric of their newly invented permanence.”

The city of Jahilia is built entirely of sand, its structures formed of the desert whence it rises. It is a sight to wonder at: walled, four-gated, the whole of it a miracle worked by its citizens, who have learned the trick of transforming the fine white dune-sand of those forsaken parts, – the very stuff of inconstancy, – the quintessence of unsettlement, shifting, treachery, lack-of-form, – and have turned it, by alchemy, into the fabric of their newly invented permanence.

— Salman Rushdie


Salman Rushdie Quote: “The alphabet is where all our secrets begin.”

The alphabet is where all our secrets begin.

— Salman Rushdie


Salman Rushdie Quote: “There is a thing that lives in us, eating our food, breathing our air, looking out through our eyes, and when it comes out to play nobody is immune; possessed, we turn murderously upon one another, thing-darkness in our eyes and real weapons in our hands, neighbour against thing-ridden neighbour, thing-driven cousin against cousin, brother-thing against brother-thing, thing-child against thing-child.”

There is a thing that lives in us, eating our food, breathing our air, looking out through our eyes, and when it comes out to play nobody is immune; possessed, we turn murderously upon one another, thing-darkness in our eyes and real weapons in our hands, neighbour against thing-ridden neighbour, thing-driven cousin against cousin, brother-thing against brother-thing, thing-child against thing-child.

— Salman Rushdie


Salman Rushdie Quote: “How young he was when he made the surprisingly adult resolution to escape from the unpalatable reality of dreams into the slightly more acceptable illusions of his everyday, walking life!”

How young he was when he made the surprisingly adult resolution to escape from the unpalatable reality of dreams into the slightly more acceptable illusions of his everyday, walking life!

— Salman Rushdie


Salman Rushdie Quote: “I don’t want to admit that the savages are winning, that the jungle is creeping in and recapturing the civilized world – the jungle where the only law is the law of the jungle – but on many days every week that’s how it feels.”

I don’t want to admit that the savages are winning, that the jungle is creeping in and recapturing the civilized world – the jungle where the only law is the law of the jungle – but on many days every week that’s how it feels.

— Salman Rushdie


Salman Rushdie Quote: “After a winter’s gestation in its eggshell of ice, the valley had beaked its way out into the open, moist and yellow.”

After a winter’s gestation in its eggshell of ice, the valley had beaked its way out into the open, moist and yellow.

— Salman Rushdie


Salman Rushdie Quote: “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 fail to recognize them, because it is the fate of migrants to be stripped of history, to stand naked amidst the scorn of strangers upon whom they see rich clothing, the brocades of continuity and the eyebrows of belonging...”

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 fail to recognize them, because it is the fate of migrants to be stripped of history, to stand naked amidst the scorn of strangers upon whom they see rich clothing, the brocades of continuity and the eyebrows of belonging...

— Salman Rushdie


Salman Rushdie Quote: “In the end, rage, no matter how profoundly justified, destroys the enraged.”

In the end, rage, no matter how profoundly justified, destroys the enraged.

— Salman Rushdie


Salman Rushdie Quote: “He wanted, for example, to investigate why one should hold fast to a religion not because it was true but because it was the faith of one’s fathers. Was faith not faith but simple family habit? Maybe there was no true religion but only this eternal handing down. And error could be handed down as easily as virtue. Was faith no more than an error of our ancestors?”

He wanted, for example, to investigate why one should hold fast to a religion not because it was true but because it was the faith of one’s fathers. Was faith not faith but simple family habit? Maybe there was no true religion but only this eternal handing down. And error could be handed down as easily as virtue. Was faith no more than an error of our ancestors?

— Salman Rushdie


Salman Rushdie Quote: “This is our tragedy... our fictions are killing us, but if we didn’t have those fictions, maybe that would kill us too.”

This is our tragedy... our fictions are killing us, but if we didn’t have those fictions, maybe that would kill us too.

— Salman Rushdie

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