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97 Famous Salman Rushdie Quotes That We Can't Ignore

Famous As: Indian-born British-American Author Best Known for His Novel ‘The Satanic Verses’
Born On: June 19, 1947
Born In: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Age: 75 Years
Salman Rushdie is a renowned British Indian novelist and essayist, known as the most controversial novelist of the 20th century. He was born in Bombay, British India, in a wealthy family and pursued his graduation from the University of Cambridge. He debuted in his writing career with ‘Grimus’ which was a great blend of fantasy and science fiction but was not successful. He hit back the literary world with his next book titled ‘Midnight's Children’ which was very successful. In this book he portrayed the history of India from the perspective of a laborer. This book was honored with some of the most renowned awards including the ‘Booker Prize’ and the ‘James Tait Black Memorial Prize’. He further published ‘The Satanic Verses’ which continues to be the most controversial book of his career and it also brought him various accolades including the ‘Whitbread Book Award’. The book was condemned for blasphemy against Islam and a bounty was announced for his head by the Islamic leader of Iran. These controversies could not stop him from writing and expressing his thoughts through his books and novels. He successfully published his works to justify his reputation as a writer. Salman Rushdie is quite often in the news for his radical views; he also shares his views on several political, social, religious and literary issues. We have compiled his quotes from his novels, writings, speeches, interviews and his general life. Take a look at the quotes and thoughts by Salman Rushdie who has a completely different take on religion and world.
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Language is courage: the ability to conceive a thought, to speak it, and by doing so to make it true.

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

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

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

Salman Rushdie
From the beginning men used God to justify the unjustifiable.

From the beginning men used God to justify the unjustifiable.

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

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

Salman Rushdie
A poet's work . . . to name the unnamable, to point at frauds, to take sides, start arguments, shape the world and stop it from going to sleep.

A poet's work . . . to name the unnamable, to point at frauds, to take sides, start arguments, shape the world and stop it from going to sleep.

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

Salman Rushdie
We all owe death a life.

We all owe death a life.

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

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

Salman Rushdie
Faith without doubt is addiction

Faith without doubt is addiction

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

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

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

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

Salman Rushdie
Most of what matters in our lives takes place in our absence.

Most of what matters in our lives takes place in our absence.

Salman Rushdie
Realism can break a writer's heart.

Realism can break a writer's heart.

Salman Rushdie
Masks beneath masks until suddenly the bare bloodless skull.

Masks beneath masks until suddenly the bare bloodless skull.

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

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

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.

‎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.

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

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

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.

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
What can't be cured must be endured.

What can't be cured must be endured.

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

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

Salman Rushdie
Children are the vessels into which adults pour their poison.

Children are the vessels into which adults pour their poison.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Salman Rushdie
We crave permission openly to become our secret selves.

We crave permission openly to become our secret selves.

Salman Rushdie
What kind of Christmas present would Jesus ask Santa for?

What kind of Christmas present would Jesus ask Santa for?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Salman Rushdie
Question: What is the opposite of faith? 

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

Doubt.

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

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

Salman Rushdie
What you were is forever who you are.

What you were is forever who you are.

Salman Rushdie
A book is not completed till it's read.

A book is not completed till it's read.

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

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

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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 bored.

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 bored.

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

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

Salman Rushdie
My heart broke open and history fell in.

My heart broke open and history fell in.

Salman Rushdie
Optimism is a disease

Optimism is a disease

Salman Rushdie
Nobody can judge an internal injury by the size of the superficial wound.

Nobody can judge an internal injury by the size of the superficial wound.

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

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

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.

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
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, black.

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, black.

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

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

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

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

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 life.

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 life.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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
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.

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.

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.

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
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.

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.

Salman Rushdie
Where there is no belief, there is no blasphemy.

Where there is no belief, there is no blasphemy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Salman Rushdie
It is all for love. Which is a wonderful and dashing matter. But which can also be a very foolish thing.

It is all for love. Which is a wonderful and dashing matter. But which can also be a very foolish thing.

Salman Rushdie
Life is lived forward but is judged in reverse.

Life is lived forward but is judged in reverse.

Salman Rushdie
...because silence, too, has an echo, hollower and longer-lasting than the reverberations of any sound.

...because silence, too, has an echo, hollower and longer-lasting than the reverberations of any sound.

Salman Rushdie
Peace broke out.

Peace broke out.

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

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

Salman Rushdie
All names mean something.

All names mean something.

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

Salman Rushdie
Without water we are nothing

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Salman Rushdie
Man is the Storytelling Animal, and that in stories are his identity, his meaning, and his lifeblood.

Man is the Storytelling Animal, and that in stories are his identity, his meaning, and his lifeblood.

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

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

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

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

Salman Rushdie
I have been a swallower of lives; and to know me, just the one of me, you'll have to swallow the lot as well.

I have been a swallower of lives; and to know me, just the one of me, you'll have to swallow the lot as well.

Salman Rushdie