Quotes by 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.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“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.”

“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 order to express this idea.”

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

“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.”

“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.”

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

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

“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 the life of our societies, in the West anyway, would have seemed absurd in 1968.”

“The only way of living in a free society is to feel that you have the right to say and do stuff.”

“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 the possessor of power dictates, and if you try and step outside he will come after you.”

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