Step Across This Line: Collected Nonfiction 1992-2002 By Salman Rushdie

For all their permeability, the borders snaking across the world have never been of greater importance. This is the dance of history in our age: slow, slow, quick, quick, slow, back and forth and from side to side, we step across these fixed and shifting lines. —from Part IV

With astonishing range and depth, the essays, speeches, and opinion pieces assembled in this book chronicle a ten-year intellectual odyssey by one of the most important, creative, and respected minds of our time. Step Across This Line concentrates in one volume Salman Rushdie’s fierce intelligence, uncanny social commentary, and irrepressible wit—about soccer, The Wizard of Oz, and writing, about fighting the Iranian fatwa and turning with the millennium, and about September 11, 2001. Ending with the eponymous, never-before-published speeches, this collection is, in Rushdie’s words, a “wake-up call” about the way we live, and think, now. Step Across This Line: Collected Nonfiction 1992-2002

Free read Step Across This Line: Collected Nonfiction 1992-2002

Sir Salmon Rushdie is one of my most favorite, still living writers. The famous and illegal fatwa against him is by now a residual threat. It was declared at some point during the writing of the collection of essays in: Step Across this Line. Remembering how real this threat was and how readily some folks wanted to blame the victim add to the poignancy of this volume.

Introduction done... These are wonderful essays. As the title suggests the essays are about the many kinds of borders a person can cross. He begins with the fictional border Dorthey crosses to arrive in the lad of Oz. I had never seriously considered this story before. I had never before thought that the Wizard of Oz was worthy of serious consideration. Rushdie reminded me of the value of thinking about traditional children's stories. I will never think of the Oz story the same way. Such is the power of any good essayist.

Among the other boarders he will cross are death, politics, literature and fame. Here is one of the first essays Sit Salmon will write about his cross into hiding as prisoner of conscious. It is noteworthy that his concerns and gratitude include the security officers who shared his risks and lost time with family members to keep him safe. There will be several essays about terrorism. Given that he wore a target for enemies of free speech and human dignity to aim their killing weapons, he is allowed to speak on this topic. He speaks not merely from his passion and his personal involvement, but from a vastly intelligent mind.

The recounting of the efforts to adopt Midnight's Children into a movie, or a miniseries was something of a tease. This was one of his better novels, (not my favorite but up there) if either the movie or series has been placed on film, it has not made it to America or to American TV.

Essays here range from as few as two pages to about 30. Roughly 60 essays total. The threat of Fatwa aside some are lighthearted others personal to the point of being domestic (On Leavened Bread); too many for individual comment here. What comes through is the depth and breadth of a man who knows how to write. This book is recommend on the merits of the use of language and for the insight into the mind of a very thoughtful -thought-filled writer. 9780679783497 Oh my. This is the first of Rushdie's writing I've read. I read it in bits and pieces over the course of a week, staying with a friend up in the Northwest Territories.

The essays were brilliant, each one thought-provoking, readable without being dumbed-down, and witty. Likewise, the fourth section pieces on frontiers and ideas - incredible, and absolutely warrant a re-read (or three) at a later point in time.

I knew only the basic details of the 'Rushdie affair' before I started this, so I found the middle two sections informative, since I've not been over-saturated with the topic before.

I'm glad this was my introduction to Rushdie, and I must say I'm excited to tackle some of his fiction, and other non-fiction as well. 9780679783497 I previous enjoyed reading Salman Rushdie’s first book of essays Imaginary Homelands, so I thought I would also read Step Across This Line: Collected Essays from 1992-2002. I also enjoyed many of the essays in this volume, however, many of them were concerned with personal freedom and Islam due to this experience of having gone underground to avoid the fatawa that was on his head-which is completely understandable given the situation. However, some of his points are repeated too frequently in these writings. I most enjoyed his essays about other writers and literature the most. For example his defense of Granta magazine’s Best Young Novelists for 1993 (Rushdie had been named one on the 1983 list). I also enjoyed his essays about India: ”Gandhi, Now” (exposes the real man behind the myth) / “The Taj Mahal” / “A Dream Of Glorious Return.” Some of the column he wrote for The New Yorker were entertaining as well-his use of Shaggy’s infectious song-“It Wasn’t Me.” I was also impressed by “Step Across This Line” from the Tanner Lectures on Human values at Yale University from 2002.

9780679783497 The only previous exposure (other than popular media) I'd had was the excellent (and sadly OOP) audiobook version of Haroun and the Sea of Stories, read by the author.

So far, this book a wide-ranging collection of essays, speeches & articles. Some have been more engaging than others (his look at the movie version of The Wizard of Oz was fascinating!), but I'm generally enjoying it & feel more comfortable about moving on to some of his fiction.

I did start feeling a bit of fatwa fatigue towards the middle/end of the book - tho one can hardly blame him for allowing a death threat to be the focus of his attention.... 9780679783497 от Салман Рушді у доволі непоганому, але якось надто рівному есе Ще раз на захист роману, пише: Бо література - справжня література - завжди була надбанням меншості. все вірно, але я ніяк не можу скласти конструкт справжня література. та, яка лікує? очищає? чи, як пише Рушді у есе про Артура Мілера, є конденсатором моралі?..

тут насправді треба чітко відрізняти моралізаторські романи і романи, де питання моралі/етичний нерв - вихідне (Достоєвський, Філіп Рот, Уільям Голдінг - спонтанно пишу). так от, Рушді, напевно, має на увазі саме останній курс і ракурс, що і робить Міллера маргінальним в ситуації постмодерного релятивізму, позааксіологічних тарантіно і паланіків. із цитати: в часи, коли багато літераторів і ще більше літературних критиків повернули погляд всередину себе, гублячись у дзеркальних кресленнях, Артур Міллер твердо відстоює реальність реального і моральну функцію літератури, що на сьогодні постає не меншим радикалізмом, аніж у його юності. потім вже далі Міллеру, немов, мораль була дарована із дитинства. як бачимо, це якийсь особливий імпульс, енергетика прози і сміливість розмежовувати добро від зла без делитантського все відносно. тому, Рушді хоче бути чесним із читачем, не зважачи на тему розмови. його чесність може балансувати від концертів Боно і Міка Джаггера до хвилюючих рядків, присвячених Анджелі Картер. такий він Рушді - завжди відкритий до світу, який так часто його не приймає у свої обійми. 9780679783497


I finally returned to this book and decided to stop approaching it by doggedly slogging through the first 4/5ths of it in order to earn reading what I bought it for: what Rushie had to say after the Sept 11, 2001 attacks on the US. Boy am I glad I did. Here is a link to what he wrote in just the month following the attacks:

One month later and he's already sorting through the heart of the matter, unflinchingly beginning even then to turn over stones... what's under here? Salman Rushdie, although at times you painfully reserved (must be that British education) in the end your Indian upbringing bursts through and you touch the red hot burning core of humanity. What an incandescent combination of form and freedom.

Everything that follows his October 2001 column just continues to delve deeper and deeper into the intricacies of living in the Post-9/11 world. Which made going back and reading the earlier portions of the book that much richer to me. For some reason the context of now, makes then open up. There really is no rhyme or reason to my brain sometimes.

In the following days I want to post excerpts from the essays and my ruminations on them. For now, it being the wee hours, I will say: read it. His even and relentless gaze into the core of our current affairs is a beacon of sanity in our troubled time. 9780679783497 This is a collection of various Rushdie pieces, broadly about India, Islam, America and literary topics; through the fatwa years and after 9/11. The easy humor Rushdie finds in terrible times is disarming. The final essay about frontiers, with evocative passages on what it means to straddle frontiers with an unwanted passport, is poignant, as is the essay on his homecoming to India after the fatwa controversy cooled. With the benefit of hindsight, one often finds the cosmopolitan liberalism informing many of his articles collected here rather naive and proved wrong by events to come, but they are still compelling in their sincerity. 9780679783497 4,5 9780679783497 Worth the buy purely for the long essay on The Wizard of Oz. 9780679783497 Somewhere in the course of this collection of his non-fiction works, Rushdie says, [we].. are like a child picking shells on the beach never noticing the huge ocean of magnificient beauty right in front of it... I sit mesmerized, looking around myself in awe, wondering where to start and where to end. When there is so much to know, so much that intrigues and so much that enraptures, there is sometimes a real danger of absorbing nothing or worse, wasting one's time in indecision. This book is like the world around us, profoundly euridite, exhaustingly diverse and sometimes almost ecstatically egoistical. As if revelling in its abiity to take us on this whirlwind tour through Rushdie's thoughts. The celebrated writer in his unique style captures the essense of the demons striking at the roots of humanity in today's times. The one overriding theme of this book is his perennial almost feverish exhortions to push the frontiers of our humanity, to express ourselves in all of our vain, silly, good, bad, notorious and imaginitive glory, to step across the line. To actually not lose in our victory by giving in to fear of the hands muffling our mouths determined not to let the voices be heard. Rushdie is simply a magnificient writer and I write this in all my twenty six year old idealistic ignorance. Step Across The Line is, mildly put, an eclectic collection of essays, notes and features on topics as diverse as Wizard of Oz to English Soccer to the 9-11. If intelligence has sex appeal, then Rushdie is the quintessential Mata Hari or even better, a reader's Marlyn Monroe forever ready to beguile us with the flowing skirts of his imagination revealed by the gust of wind which is his writing. 9780679783497