Sunday, March 1, 2009

Satanic Verses: New insight?

Twenty years have passed since Ayatollah Khomeini declared fatwa on Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses. Fatwa is still on, officially at least, but Khomeini is dead and our Rushdie keeps hale, hearty and unharmed. But the controversial novel seems to be under re-evaluation.

Though The Satanic Verses is essentially a novel about "migration, metamorphosis, divided selves, love, death, London and Bombay" and castigates Western materialism in a comic tone, it got involved in a blasphemy controversy for wrong reasons.

Now a writer In Tehelka says that the book remains keen specifically for that which it is supposed to negate — it is a supremely sensitive examination of our need for religious feeling.

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