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  • Writer's pictureFiona Prior

Get well soon Salman Rushdie

Updated: Aug 22, 2022

I loved Rushdie’s ‘The Satanic Verses’ (1988) ̶ read many, many years ago – though ‘Midnight’s Children’ (1981) was definitely the superior Rushdie text. It was the multi-dimensional worlds, the caricatured cast, and the sheer playfulness of ‘The Satanic Verses‘ that captured my imagination.

Characters like 'Saladin', who eventually metamorphoses into the smelly-testicled goat-like social phenomena amongst London’s cool kids; and Gibreel, who transforms into the angel Gabriel and dreams a revisionist history of the founding of Islam ... names and stories changing, Goddesses and prostitutes merging (possibly this latter depiction causing the issuance of a fatwah on Rushdie’s life in 1989).

Rushdie’s surreal shake-up of worlds and symbols ̶ the juggled use of good and evil, the sacred and profane ̶ gave me a wonderful insight into religion(s), dualities, cultural mis-alignments and time-warps, and ancient, ancient stories.

"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)

(*I particularly loved how Saladin’s evolution into a celebrity goat-monster. It was a perfect illustration of how Punk ignited as a social movement at the time in London; swinging hairy balls being the equivalent to a safety pinned noses with regards to putting a finger up to the establishment in the eyes of a generation of disillusioned young ones.)

Heal with speed Salman Rushdie!

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