Quotes by Salman Rushdie

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

Our lives teach us who we are.
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.
Free speech is the whole thing, the whole ball game. Free speech is life itself.
One of the extraordinary things about human events is that the unthinkable becomes thinkable.
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 out.
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 the heart.
Sometimes legends make reality, and become more useful than the facts.
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.
Reality is a question of perspective; the further you get from the past, the more concrete and plausible it seems --but as you approach the present, it inevitably seems incredible.
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.
In this world without quiet corners, there can be no easy escapes from history, from hullabaloo, from terrible, unquiet fuss.
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 wrong language, and you're dumb and blind.
If Woody Allen were a Muslim, he'd be dead by now.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The real risks for any artist are taken in pushing the work to the limits of what is possible, in the attempt to increase the sum of what it is possible to think. Books become good when they go to this edge and risk falling over it --when they endanger the artist by reason of what he has, or has not, artistically dared.
A book is a version of the world. If you do not like it, ignore it; or offer your own version in return.
Where there is no belief, there is no blasphemy.
Your blasphemy, Salman, can't be forgiven. To set your words against the Words of God.
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, some sort of replacement for what the love of god offers in the world of faith.
Een boek is een versie van de wereld. Als je het niet goed vindt, negeer het of geef je eigen versie terug.
Wat één schrijver kan maken in de eenzaamheid van een kamer kan door geen enkele macht makkelijk vernietigd worden.
Boeken kiezen hun auteurs; het creëren is niet enkel een rationeel en bewust iets.
Wat is vrijheid van expressie? Zonder de vrijheid om te beledigen stopt het met te bestaan.
Het is heel erg makkelijk om niet beledigd te worden door een boek. Je moet het gewoon sluiten...
Whores and writers, Mahound. We are the people you can't forgive.
Writers and politicians are natural rivals. Both groups try to make the world in their own images; they fight for the same territory.
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.
Books choose their authors; the act of creation is not entirely a rational and conscious one.