The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie
“When you looked through an angel’s eyes you saw essences instead of surfaces, you saw the decay of the soul blistering and bubbling on the skins of people in the street, you saw the generosity of certain spirits resting on their shoulders in the form of birds.” Do we understand the scales of heaven and hell? Because both are human endeavors in the way they’re described to be imagined, element by element, spanning across generations and stamped - to be reverenced. The spell cast by Salman Rushdie with his Midnight’s Children stayed with me throughout The Satanic Verses. I was blanketed in magical realism and mythical metamorphoses. It’s such a passionate book separated from a reality that it refuses to belong to. Be that as it may, you enter a universe found as if in a mirage; trapping mountains, drowning seas, and swallowing whole skies as it breathes. What begins as a tragedy creates an atmosphere of revelations and multi-faceted encounters. The twists and turns that make this book “blasphemous,” I find embroidered into the fabric of its essence. It swells as you progress and traps you. After all, existence is never stagnant. It moves like a contortionist to complete a person. So what if Existence is given an angelic metaphor in this book? The book lives on and rejoices though eternally considered controversial by the wrath of what it summons. The Satanic Verses had a profound impression on me. For all the dust it raises, from which we all are conditioned, it’s an imaginative and compelling book. Rushdie writes about the soul, the nature of good and (not versus) evil, the history of history, and above all, survival. As you grow old, how many skins do you shed? What is more painful: loss of materiality in a chaotic world or a lack of transcendent self? Sometimes we grow out of these questions as uncomfortably as we’re fed them.