Salman Rusdie Portrait In Brief

1430 words - 6 pages

Anglo-Indian novelist, who uses in his works tales from various genres - fantasy, mythology, religion, oral tradition. Rushdie's narrative technique has connected his books to magic realism, which includes such English-language authors as Peter Carey, Angela Carter, E.L. Doctorow, John Fowles, Mark Helprin or Emma Tennant. Salman Rushdie was condemned to death by the former Iranian spiritual leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini on February 14,1989, after publishing SATANIC VERSES. Naguib Mahfouz, the winner of the 1988 Nobel Prize in Literature, criticized Khomeini for 'intellectual terrorism' but changed his view later and said that Rushdie did not have 'the right to insult anything, especially a prophet or anything considered holy.'"Insults are mysteries. What seems to the bystander to be the cruelest, most destructive sledgehammer of an assault, whore! slut! tart!, can leave its target undamaged, while an apparently lesser gibe, thank god you're not my child, can fatally penetrate the finest suits of armour, you're nothing to me, you're less than the dirt on the soles of my shoes, and strike directly at the heart." (from The Ground Beneath Her Feet, 1999)Salman Rushdie was born in Bombay, India, to a middle-class Moslem family. His paternal grandfather was an Urdu poet, and his father a Cambridge-educated businessman. At the age of fourteen Rushdie was sent to Rugby School in England. In 1964 Rushdie's parents moved to Karachi, Pakistan, joining reluctantly the Muslim exodus - during these years there was a war between India and Pakistan, and the choosing of sides and divided loyalties burdened Rushdie heavily.Rushdie continued his studies at King's College, Cambridge, where he read history. After graduating in 1968 he worked for a time in television in Pakistan. He was an actor in a theatre group at the Oval House in Kennington and from 1971 to 1981 he worked intermittently as a freelance advertising copywriter for Ogilvy and Mather and Charles Barker.As a novelist Rushdie made his debut with GRIMUS in 1975, an exercise in fantastical science fiction, which draws on the 12th-century Sufi poem The Conference of Birds. The title of the novel is an anagram of the name 'Simurg', the immense, all-wise, fabled bird of pre-Islamic Persian mythology. Rushdie's the next novel, MIDNIGHT'S CHILDREN (1981), won the Booker Prize and brought him international fame. Written in exuberant style, the comic allegory of Indian history revolves around the lives of the narrator Saleem Sinai and the 1000 children born after the Declaration of Independence. All of the children are given some magical property. Saleem has a very large nose, which grants him the ability to see "into the hearts and minds of men." His chief rival is Shiva, who has the power of war. Saleem, dying in a pickle factory near Bombay, tells his tragic story with special interest in its comical aspects. The work aroused a great deal of controversy in India because of its unflattering portrait of...

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