The Satanic Verses Quotes

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The Satanic Verses The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie
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The Satanic Verses Quotes (showing 1-30 of 82)
“Language is courage: the ability to conceive a thought, to speak it, and by doing so to make it true.”
Salman Rushdie, The Satanic Verses
“From the beginning men used God to justify the unjustifiable.”
Salman Rushdie, The Satanic Verses
“Now I know what a ghost is. Unfinished business, that's what.”
Salman Rushdie, The Satanic Verses
“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 notion that would rather break than sway with the breeze? – The kind that will almost certainly, ninety-nine times out of hundred, be smashed to bits; but, the hundredth time, will change the world.”
Salman Rushdie, The Satanic Verses
“Masks beneath masks until suddenly the bare bloodless skull.”
Salman Rushdie, The Satanic Verses
“The world, somebody wrote, is the place we prove real by dying in it.”
Salman Rushdie, The Satanic Verses
“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.”
Salman Rushdie, The Satanic Verses
“You can't judge an internal injury by the size of the hole.”
Salman Rushdie, The Satanic Verses
“Something was badly amiss with the spiritual life of the planet...Too many demons inside people claiming to believe in God.”
Salman Rushdie, The Satanic Verses
“Not all possibilities are open to us. The world is finite; our hopes spill over its rim.”
Salman Rushdie, The Satanic Verses
“Question: What is the opposite of faith?

Not disbelief. Too final, certain, closed. Itself is a kind of belief.

Doubt.

The human condition, but what of the angelic? Halfway between Allahgod and homosap, did they ever doubt? They did: challenging God's will one day they hid muttering beneath the Throne, daring to ask forbidden things: antiquestions. Is it right that. Could it not be argued. Freedom, the old antiquest. He calmed them down, naturally, employing management skills a la god. Flattered them: you will be the instruments of my will on earth, the salvationdamnation of man, all the usual etcetera. And hey presto, the end of protest, on with the haloes, back to work. Angels are easily pacified; turn them into instruments and they'll play your harpy tune. Human beings are tougher nuts, can doubt anything, even the evidence of their own eyes. Of behing-their-own-eyes. Of what, as they sink heavy-lidded, transpires behind closed peepers ... angels, they don't have much in the way of a will. To will is to disagree; not to submit; to dissent.”
Salman Rushdie, The Satanic Verses
“When you throw everything up in the air anything becomes possible.”
Salman Rushdie, The Satanic Verses
“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, The Satanic Verses
“Question: What is the opposite of faith?

Not disbelief. Too final, certain, closed. Itself is a kind of belief.

Doubt.”
Salman Rushdie, The Satanic Verses
“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, if first you won't cry? How to win the darling's love mister, without a sigh?”
Salman Rushdie, The Satanic Verses
“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, and become, in the true sense, exalted. Long before she ever encountered the mountain, Allie was aware of its brooding presence in her soul.”
Salman Rushdie, The Satanic Verses
“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. ”
Salman Rushdie, The Satanic Verses
“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. ”
Salman Rushdie, The Satanic Verses
“Nobody can judge an internal injury by the size of the superficial wound.”
Salman Rushdie, The Satanic Verses
“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.”
Salman Rushdie, The Satanic Verses
“Can one drown in one's element... If fish can drown in water, can human beings suffocate in air?”
Salman Rushdie, The Satanic Verses
“She's no flibberti-gibberti mamzell, but a whir-stir-get-lost-sir bundla dynamite!”
Salman Rushdie, The Satanic Verses
“The fact of being alive compensated for what life did to one.”
Salman Rushdie, The Satanic Verses
“He told her: he fell from the sky and lived. She took a deep breath and believed him, because of her father's faith in the myriad and contradictory possibilities of life, and because, too, of what the mountain had taught her. "Okay," she said, exhaling. "I'll buy it. Just don't tell my mother, all right?" The universe was a place of wonders, and only habituation, the anaesthesia of the everyday, dulled our sight. She had read, a couple of days back, that as part of their natural processes of combustion, the stars in the skies crushed carbon into diamonds. The idea of the stars raining diamonds into the void: that sounded like a miracle, too. If that could happen, so could this. Babies fell out of zillionth-floor windows and bounced. There was a scene about that in François Truffaut's movie L'Argent du Poche...She focused her thoughts. "Sometimes," she decided to say, "wonderful things happen to me, too.”
Salman Rushdie, The Satanic Verses
“Is birth always a fall?”
Salman Rushdie, The Satanic Verses
“Captain Ahab drowned, he reminded himself; it was the trimmer, Ishmael, who survived.”
Salman Rushdie, The Satanic Verses
“Otto Cone as a man of seventy-plus years jumped into an open lift shaft and died. Now this was a subject which Alicia Cone, who would readily discuss the most taboo matters refused to touch upon. Why does a survivor of the camps live forty years then complete the job the monsters didn't get done? Does great evil eventually triumph no matter how strenuously it is resisted? Does it leave a sliver of ice in the blood working its way through until it reaches the heart? Or worse, can a man's death be incompatible with his life? Alicia, who's first response on hearing of her father's death had been fury, flung such questions as these at her mother, who stone-faced beneath a broad-brimmed black hat said only, "You have inherited his lack of restraint my dear.”
Salman Rushdie, The Satanic Verses
“Give up on me " he begged her. "I don't like people dropping in to see me without warning, I have forgotten the rules of seven tiles and kabaddi, I can't recite my prayers, I don't know what should happen at a nikah ceremony, and in this city where I grew up I get lost if I'm on my own. This isn't home. It makes me giddy because it feels like home and is not. It makes my heart tremble and my head spin."

"You're a stupid, " she shouted at him. "A stupid. Change back! Damn fool! Of course you can." She was a vortex, a siren, tempting him back to his old self. But it was a dead self, a shadow, a ghost and he would not become a phantom. There was a return ticket to London in his wallet, and he was going to use it.”
Salman Rushdie, The Satanic Verses
“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 of his life, and gains (but only if he's lucky) maybe not eternity, but posterity, at least. Either way (this was Jumpy's point) it's the Devil who wins.”
Salman Rushdie, The Satanic Verses
“She dreamed of him, his face, filling the dream. "Things are ending," he told her. "This civilization; things are closing in on it. It has been quite a culture, brilliant and foul, cannibal and Christian, the glory of the world. We should celebrate it while we can; until night falls."
She didn't agree, not even in the dream, but she knew, as she dreamed, that there was no point telling him now.”
Salman Rushdie, The Satanic Verses

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