Salman Rushdie


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Salman Rushdie

  1. 1. Salman Rushdie <br />1947-<br />
  2. 2. Biography:<br />Born: June 19, 1947 in Bombay, India<br />Grew up in a Muslim household <br />well-educated parents. <br />His father was a Cambridge-educated lawyer turned businessmen and his mother was a teacher. <br />Educated at:<br />Cathedral and John Connon School in Mumbai, <br />1961 King’s College, Cambridge. <br />1964 moved with his family from Bombay to Pakistan <br />1989 had a fatwa declared on him by Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeni for his writing of the book “The Satanic Verses”.<br />
  3. 3. Religion<br />Religious Views: Grew up Shitte Muslim, but focuses on religion and its conflicts in society in his writings. <br />Books concentrate on conflicts between religions <br />“ I don’t think there is a need for an entity like God in my life.”<br />
  4. 4. Has expressed need to:<br />“move beyond tradition”<br />Muslim Reformation : “bring the core concepts of Islam into the modern age”<br />Combat jihadist ideologues/challenge traditionalists<br />[throw] open the windows to let in much needed fresh air. <br />Study religion as an event inside history, not supernaturally above it. <br />“Broad-mindedness is related to tolerance”<br />“open-mindedness is the sibling of peace.” <br />
  5. 5. Critical Awards:<br />Won Booker prize in 1981f or Midnight’s Children<br />1981: Received Booker McConnell Prize for Fiction for Midnight’s Children<br />1981: Received literary award from English Speaking Union for Midnight’s Children <br />1982: Received James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Midnight’s Children <br />
  6. 6. Marriages <br />Personal Life: Is known for his multiple marriages :<br />Clarissa Luard: (1976-1987).<br />Rushdie and Luard had a son, Zafar Rushdie<br />Marianne Wiggins: (1988-1993). <br />Wiggins was an American novelist.<br />Elizabeth West: ( 1997-2004). <br />Rushdie and West had a son, Milan Rushdie<br />PadmaLakshmi: (2004-2007). <br />Indian actress and model . Currently the host of Top Chef. Lakshmi and Rushdi announced their divorce in July of 2007. <br />Romantically linked to RiyaSen<br />
  7. 7. Knighthood<br />Knighted: June 16, 2007<br />Many protests around the world:<br />Iran and Pakistan protested formally and calls for Sir Rushdie’s death were even made. <br />Al-Qaeda is quoted as saying Rushdie is “ an insult to Islam.” <br />
  8. 8. Quotations<br />What is freedom of expression? Without freedom to offend, it ceases to exist.”<br />“I do not envy people who think they have a complete explanation of the world, for the simple reason that they are obviously wrong.”<br />“ I think the battle against the veil has been a long and continuing battle against the limitations of women…” speaking in support of Britain’s criticism of wearing the full veil.<br />
  9. 9. Style/Themes<br />known for melding different cultures and traditions in his writing<br />celebrates the postcolonial subject <br />questions conventional views on religion, politics, and social forms. <br />Magic Realism: <br />a style of painting and literature in which fantastic or imaginary and often unsettling images or events are depicted in a sharply detailed, realistic manner. <br />India’s National Identity vs. British colonization<br />Indian diaspora<br />migrant identity and the themes of Indian diaspora<br />Colonialism and Gender/Power Struggle<br />Rushdie significantly shaped the course of Indian literature in english<br />
  10. 10. Prophet’s Hair<br />Summary:<br />A wealthy Kashmiri businessman finds a religious relicand takes it home rather than returning it to the mosque; his ensuing fanaticism leads to the death of his children, his own suicide, and the mental breakdown of his wife.<br />Explores:<br />clashes between tradition and modernity, fundamentalist Islamand secularism, wealth and poverty, social hypocrisies<br />combines elements of traditional realism, magical realism, satire, moral fable, and cinematic screwball comedy<br />mixing seemingly incompatible narrative styles, diction, and tone. <br />
  11. 11. Overview<br />Black Comedy, Typical postmodern fiction:<br />Hashim - The central protagonist:<br />dead by the end of the story along with his children<br />wife has been driven mad<br />religious fundamentalism and the “old ways” <br />have utterly destroyed this family<br />“The Prophet’s Hair” is as much comedy as tragedy.<br />The grand denouement, with its mayhem and disaster is unexpectedly hilarious. <br />Taken together, the story’s elements are excessive, parodic, flippant, horrifying, and humorous. <br />Nothing is sacred: All characters, all possible positions, all beliefs, are objects of satire<br />
  12. 12. Setting<br />disputed state of Kashmir, <br />takes on such thorny issues as:<br />religious intolerance<br />sexual stereotyping<br />domestic violence<br />crime, poverty<br />class disparity<br />erosion of “traditional” culture<br />combines its genuine social engagement with a refusal to positively identify a moral high ground. <br />irreverent tone, casual mixing of realistic and nonrealistic narrative modes <br />the relic is a truly magical artifact, effecting miraculous cures<br />
  13. 13. Characters<br />Hashim: a wealthy, self-satisfied hypocrite with two spoiled, Westernized children; <br />the “glassy contentment of that household, of that life of porcelain delicacy and alabaster sensibilities” <br />Breakfast conversation is “filled with those expressions of courtesy and solicitude on which the family prided itself”<br />marks the family out as the likely object of satire. <br />
  14. 14. Hashim<br />the narrator explains; <br />after Hashim takes possession of the religious relic, he gushes forth “long streams of awful truths”: <br />he never loved his wife and is miserable in the marriage; <br />he has a mistress; <br />he visits prostitutes; <br />he will disinherit his wife; <br />his son is stupid; <br />his daughter is shameless for going “barefaced”; <br />
  15. 15. Hashim<br />Hashimthinks of himself as “not a godly man” but that he “set[s] great store by ‘living honourably in the world.” <br />what kind of “honour” is there in a man who lends out money at the rate of “over seventy percent”?<br />impossible for his clients to ever be free of debt <br />deludes himself into thinking that by keeping the relic, he is not being selfish and acquisitive, <br />following the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad, who “abhorred the idea of being deified”; <br />“by keeping this hair from its distracted devotees, I perform—do I not?—a finer service than I would by returning it.” <br />Hypocritical: Hashim claims not to be a religious man. <br />
  16. 16. The Thief<br />The thief and his family:<br />another point of satirical contrast. <br />Sheikh Sín acts as Hashim’s evil double: <br />he supports a wife and children by cheating others of their money,<br />values riches above all else, <br />believes he has done an excellent job of preparing his children to exist in the world.<br /> Sheikh Sín has shown “a parent’s absolutist love”:<br />crippling his children so that they will be more effective beggars, <br />Hashim has a barely imperceptible ethical superiority over Sheikh Sín:<br />neither parent shows any real concern for his offspring. <br />the moneylender commits ever escalating violent acts against his wife, his son, his daughter, and a debtor after the relic comes into his life. <br />
  17. 17. The relic<br />What are the possible meanings of the relic:<br />Is it a sacred object, pure and simple, <br />does the story’s satire extend to it also? <br />Is it punishing Hashim for his avarice? <br />If it is a sacred object, why does it punish Hashim by having his religious devotion lead to the destruction of the family? <br />
  18. 18. Conclusions?<br />In unmasking Hashim’s hypocrisy and the complacency of the wealthy, the story does not offer a moral absolute:<br />We are left with a very postmodern kind of irreverence for pat conclusions and simple oppositions. <br />the poor are not virtuous in contrast to the rich<br />neither religious belief nor secular skepticism prove to have any particular virtue. <br />Hashimis shown to be an empty symbol of modern secular patriarchy:<br />so too are all other possible ideological positions: <br />tradition does not bring order or harmony, <br />and the religion does not offer any guidance. <br />