Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Best of Salman Rushdie

We look up and we hope the stars look down, we pray that there may be stars for us to follow, stars moving across the heavens and leading us to our destiny, but it's only our vanity. We look at the galaxy and fall in love, but the universe cares less about us than we do about it, and the stars stay in their courses however much we may wish upon them to do otherwise. It's true that if you watch the sky-wheel turn for a while you'll see a meteor fall, flame and die. That's not a star worth following; it's just an unlucky rock. Our fates are here on earth. There are no guiding stars.
--- 'The Moor's Last Sigh'

Abraham Zogoiby covered his face [...] because he had been assailed by fear, [...] a sudden apprehension that the ugliness of life might defeat its beauty; that love did not make lovers invulnerable. Nevertheless, he thought, even if the world's beauty and love were on the edge of destruction, theirs would still be the only side to be on; defeated love would still be love, hate's victory would not make it other than it was.
--- 'The Moor's Last Sigh'

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, I told myself, still, without that leap nobody comes to life.
--- 'The Moor's Last Sigh'

We all owe death a life.
--- 'Midnight's Children'

Do not contemplate what lies beyond failure while you are still trying to succeed.
--- 'Fury'

I sigh therefore I am . . . In the beginning and unto the end was and is the lung: divine afflatus, baby’s first yowl, shaped air of speech, staccato gusts of laughter, exalted airs of song, happy lover’s groan, unhappy lover’s lament, miser’s whine, crone’s croak, illness’s stench, dying whisper, and beyond and beyond the airless, silent void.
A sigh isn’t just a sigh. We inhale the world and breathe out meaning. While we can. While we can.

--- 'The Moor's Last Sigh'

Now I know what a ghost is. Unfinished business, that's what.
--- '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.
--- 'The Satanic Verses'

Most of what matters in our lives takes place in our absence.
--- 'Midnight's Children'

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