"I do not envy
people who think they have a complete explanation of the world, for the simple reason that
they are obviously wrong."
--Salman Rushdie, Interview
"Literature is where I go to explore the
highest and lowest places in human society and in the human spirit, where I hope to find
not absolute truth but the truth of the tale, of the imagination and of the heart."
"Not even the visionary or mystical
experience ever lasts very long. It is for art to capture that experience, to offer it to,
in the case of literature, its readers; to be, for a secular, materialist culture, some
sort of replacement for what the love of god offers in the world of faith. "
The following have been claimed concerning either Rushdie himself
and/or his fiction. I would like us to test each proposition against our reading of East,
- Rushdie offers us a world that both loves yet denies the miraculous.
The fantastic is not made strange, but made almost banal.
- Rushdie immerses us into a world of hybridity, multiplicity, and the
constant shifting of stances and identities.
- Rushdie represents an acceptance of the West, a rejection of the
West, a subversion of the West, and/or a liminal space beyond yet orbiting around the
- Rushdie's works/characters/life is always in migration, is disaporan,
- Rushdie's is a secular, deconstructable self always on the way,
transforming itself ever anew, leaving what others consider "pure" for the
- Rushdie shows us the (im)possibility of the multicultural society.
- Rushdie's world is essential cinematic--as escape, definition,
soundtrack, and casting.
- Rushdie's world is one of varying moods (e.g. the erotic, comic,
pathetic, furious, heroic, terrible, odious, marvelous, and serene).
Likewise, look over the following model for modernism versus
post-modernism. Which elements seem to apply best to Rushdie's fiction?