For spite

August 15th

I only remember reading two books by Salman Rushdie, both of them when I was about twenty years old — “Midnight's Children” and “The Ground Beneath Her Feet”. I found the first one confusing and chaotic, mostly because I had very little knowledge of the partition of India and independence from colonial rule, outside only knowing that a lot of people had died then. The names and situations presented in this book had no relevance to my knowledge of history, and sadly this is still the case today — I haven't learned any more on this subject. The second one still reverberates in me as a deeply lyrical work, presenting a search for meaning after a loss. For a twenty years old guy like I was then, the concept of irreversible loss was an abstract idea and something that I did not understand at all. What I clearly remember though is the superior skill of the word craft of the author. I also tried to read “The Satanic Verses” but I gave up after the first 30 pages or so. I found this book to be very indulgent and imposing itself on me, so I decided to go back to lighter reading and finish it some other time.

And you what — that time is now. I was disgusted and angry and scared after finding out that Salman Rushdie was stabbed. I guess the fatwa imposed by ayatollahs in Iran still holds, at least for some people. Or criminals — no sugar coating here. Those who seek to silence others (in this case a writer) for creating a work of speculative narrative are criminals and idiots, and fundamentalists for whom there is no place in modern society. Since the violent attack on Salman Rushdie, I bought three of his books — again “The Satanic Verses”, “The Moor’s Last Sight” and “Shalimar The Clown”. And I will read them, even if I don't particularly like them. I will read them just for spite of moronic religious fundamentalism — in this case Islam — but also for spite of any fundamentalism anywhere in any religion and nationalism or politics. They cannot and will not win, and I will do my (albeit very small) part.

Thinking about fundamentalism, made me realize that I need to take a good look at myself as well. Of course, I don’t see or think about myself as a fundamentalist in case of any ideas I hold dear. But I do deal with the absolute in me — with my absolute convictions and my absolute judgment of others. In many cases, there is no room for any dialog in my moral or ethical views. Or any want for understanding other points of view. That comes very close to the definition of fundamentalism, and wonder what I will find deeper in my psyche as I explore this subject.

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footsteps of the Furies

footsteps of the Furies

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“for they knew what sort of noise it was; they recognize, by now, the footsteps of the Furies”. Enjoying life on the road to recovery. Observing and writing.