Last modified on 3 August 2014, at 17:36

The Satanic Verses

The Satanic Verses is a 1988 novel by Salman Rushdie.

QuotesEdit

  • "To be born again," sang Gibreel Farishta tumbling from the heavens, "first you have to die."
    • Chapter 1, "The Angel Gibreel" (first sentence).
  • The history of life was not the bumbling progress – the very English, middle-class progress – Victorian thought had wanted it to be, but violent, a thing of dramatic, cumulative transformations: in the old formulation, more revolution than evolution.
    • Chapter 1, "The Angel Gibreel"
  • "Martyrdom is a privilege," she said softly. "We shall be like stars; like the sun."
    • Chapter 1, "The Angel Gibreel"
  • No, not death: birth.
    • Chapter 1, "The Angel Gibreel"
  • Question: What is the opposite of faith?

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

    Doubt.

  • 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.
    • Chapter 2, "Mahound"
  • But names, once they are in common use, quickly become mere sounds, their etymology being buried, like so many of the earth's marvels, beneath the dust of habit.
    • Chapter 4, "Ayesha"
  • Why speak if you can't manage perfect thoughts, perfect sentences?
    • Chapter 5, "A City Visible but Unseen"
  • Information got abolished sometime in the twentieth century … Since then we've been living in a fairy-story. … Everything happens by magic. Us fairies haven't a fucking notion what's going on.
    • Chapter 5, "A City Visible but Unseen"
  • But after a long instant, he [the Prophet] nods. "You have Submitted. And are welcome in my tents."
    • Chapter 6, "Return to Jahilia"
  • And the Prophet said, "Now we may come into Jahilia," and they arose and came into the city, and possessed it in the Name of the Most High, the Destroyer of Men.
    • Chapter 6, "Return to Jahilia"
  • Mahound shakes his head. "Your blasphemy, Salman, can't be forgiven. Did you think I wouldn't work it out? To set your words against the Words of God."
    • Chapter 6, "Return to Jahilia"
  • For are they not coinjoined opposites, these two, each man the other's shadow? – One seeking to be transformed into the foreigness he admires, the other preferring, contemptuously, to transform; one, a hapless fellow who seems to be continually punished for uncommitted crimes, the other called angelic by one and all, the type of man who gets away with everything. – We may describe Chamcha as being somewhat less than life-size; but loud, vulgar Gibreel is, without question, a good deal larger than life, a disparity which might easily inspire neo-Procrustean lusts in Chamcha: to stretch himself by cutting Farishta down to size.

    What is unforgivable?

    • Chapter 7, "The Angel Azraeel"
  • A life illuminated by a strangely radiant death, which continued to glow in his minds eye.
    • Chapter 9, "A Wonderful Lamp"

External linksEdit

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