Sir Rushdie’s Quagmire

rushdie.gifThe NYTimes has an interesting article about the uproar following the publication of Salman Rushdie’s “Satanic Verses.” Given that his recent knighthood raised a strong response from Muslims it’s important to remember that there were plenty of critics here in the West as well. Most important, irregardless of how I may feel about Rushdie’s work or of “Satanic Verses” in particular, I think that the article raises serious questions which writers should consider about freedom of speech vs. self-censorship. Where is the line you won’t cross? How did that line get there? Why won’t you cross it? Asking ourselves these questions may benefit our reading and our writing.

One thought on “Sir Rushdie’s Quagmire

  1. Poor Salman. If having the Muslim world calling for your head wasn’t bad enough, his hottie wife is divorcing him.
    Here’s the thing, great writers are great because they shine a spotlight on some truth about the human experience. They illuminate it in a way we’ve never seen, and sometimes truth isn’t so comfortable. It seems that self-censorship is akin to letting the (literal and figurative) terrorists win. This being said, a writer does have a responsibility. Writing incendiary works for the sake of being controversial isn’t great either.

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