He had raised her from the dead and granted her the freedom of the living, had freed her to choose and be chosen, and she had chosen him. As if life was a river and men its stepping stones, she had crossed the liquid years and returned to command his dreams, usurping another woman’s place in his khayal, his godlike, omnipotent fancy. Perhaps he was no longer his own master. What if he tired of her? – No, he would never tire of her. – But could she be banished in her turn, or could she alone decide to stay or go?
‘I have come home after all,’ she told him. ‘You have allowed me to return, and so here I am, at my journey’s end. And now, Shelter of the World, I am yours.’
Until you’re not, the Universal Ruler thought. My love, until you’re not.
~ The Enchantress of Florence, Salman Rushdie
By embracing the inescapable, I lost my fear of it. I’ll tell you a secret about fear: it’s an absolutist. With fear, it’s all or nothing. Either, like any bullying tyrant, it rules your life with a stupid blinding omnipotence, or else you overthrow it, and its power vanishes in a puff of smoke. And another secret: the revolution against fear, the engendering of that tawdry despot’s fall, has more or less nothing to do with ‘courage’. It is driven by something much more straightforward: the simple need to get on with your life. I stopped being afraid because, if my time on earth was limited, I didn’t have seconds to spare for funk. Lord Khusro’s injunction echoed Vasco Miranda’s motto, another version of which I found, years later, in a story by J. Conrad. I must live until I die.
~ The Moor’s Last Sigh, Salman Rushdie
Freedom to reject is the only freedom
~ The Ground Beneath Her Feet, Salman Rushdie
I am the sum total of everything that went before me, of all I have been seen done, of everything done-to-me. I am everyone everything whose being-in-the-world affected was affected by mine. I am anything that happens after I’ve gone which would not have happened if I had not come.
~ Midnight’s Children, Salman Rushdie
Language is courage: the ability to conceive a thought, to speak it, and by doing so to make it true.
~ The Satanic Verses, Salman Rushdie