From Columbia Daily Tribune: Rushdie stresses importance of literature

If there is anybody who can speak of the need to defend the right to free speech, and the need to use that right to protect what is valued in literature, then it is certainly Salman Rushdie, a man for whom the matter is one of life and death, literally. This literary icon was therefore an apt chose for a keynote speaker last Friday for an audience at the Unbound Book Festival. Here is a loose leaf excerpted from Britanny Ruess’ reporting of the speech for the Columbia Daily Tribune:

Rushdie dazzling audience to his right with wit.

Rushdie dazzling audience to his right with wit.

The more pluralistically we see ourselves, the easier it is to find common ground with other people, even if theyre very different from us, he said. And this is what the novel has always told us; it has always told us that human beings are not one thing, they are many things at once.

Great art tries to open the universe and push back borders of understanding to increase peoples capacity to know the world around them, Rushdie said. But he said artists are often met with the unpleasant sensation of powerful forces pushing against them from individuals who dont want understanding to be increased. Rushdies The Satanic Verses is banned in India and his writing has been the subject of lawsuits and other threats.

Rushdie omitted presumably the advantage that being on a most wanted list can give in the dating game, which favors bad boys, especially when they are good men.High-mindedness comes at a risk,but perhaps we might infer from Rushdie that it can be diversified by having more plurality.

Read more about his speech at Columbia Tribune

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