Salman Rushdie · 224 pages
Rating: (25K votes)
“Nothing comes from nothing, Thieflet; no story comes from nowhere; new stories are born from old--it is the new combinations that make them new.”
“He knew what he knew: that the real world was full of magic, so magical worlds could easily be real.”
“Happy endings must come at the end of something,' the Walrus pointed out. 'If they happen in the middle of a story, or an adventure, or the like, all they do is cheer things up for awhile.”
“What's the use of stories that aren't even true?”
“A little bit of one story joins onto an idea from another, and hey presto, . . . not old tales but new ones. Nothing comes from nothing.”
“Don't you know girls have to fool people every day of their lives if they want to get anywhere?”
“It is all for love. Which is a wonderful and dashing matter. But which can also be a very foolish thing.”
“Khattam-Shud,' he said slowly, 'is the Arch-Enemy of all Stories, even of language itself. He is the Prince of Silence and the Foe of Speech. And because everything ends, because dreams end, stories end, life ends, at the finish of everything we use his name. "It's finished," we tell one another, "it's over. Khattam-Shud: The End.”
“I always thought storytelling was like juggling [...] You keep a lot of different tales in the air, and juggle them up and down, and if you're good you don't drop any.”
“Believe in your own eyes and you'll get into a lot of trouble, hot water, a mess.”
“A figure of speech is a shifty thing; it can be twisted or it can be straight.”
“Straight answers were beyond the powers of Rashid Khalifa, who would never take a short cut if there was a longer, twistier road available.”
“There was once, in the country of Alifbay, a sad city, the saddest of cities, a city so ruinously sad that it had forgotten its name. It stood by a mournful sea full of glumfish, which were so miserable to eat that they made people belch with melancholy even though the skies were blue...
And in the depths of the city, beyond an old zone of ruined buildings that look like broken hearts, there lived a happy young fellow by name of Haroun, the only child of the storyteller Rashid Khalifa, whose cheerfulness was famous throughout that unhappy metropolis, and whose never-ending stream of tall, and winding tales had earned him not one but two nicknames. To his admirers he was Rashid the Ocean of Notions, as stuffed with cheery stories as the sea was full of glumfish; but to his jealous rivals he was the Shah of Blah.”
“Any story worth its salt can handle a little shaking up.”
“Iff replied that the Plentimaw Fishes were what he called 'hunger artists' — 'Because when they are hungry they swallow stories through every mouth, and in their innards miracles occur; a little bit of one story joins on to an idea from another, and hey presto, when they spew the stories out they are not the old tales but new ones. Nothing comes from nothing, Thieflet; no story comes from nowhere; new stories are born from old — it is the new combinations that make them new.”
“If you want pay, then just be gay.”
“Khattam-Shud,' he Said slowly 'is the arch-enemy of all stories, even of language itself. He is the prince of silence and the foe of speech. And because everything ends, because dreams ens, stories end, life ends, at the finish of everything we use his name. 'It is finished,' we tell one another, 'it's over, Khattam-Shud; the end.”
“Hey you, long face,' shouted an elderly gent who must have been at least seventy years old, but who was dancing through the flooded, rainy streets, waving a rolled umbrella like a sword. 'Don't you sing those Tragedy Songs round here.”
“The black ice of that dark fortress received the sunlight like a mortal wound.”
“They drove past buses that dripped people the way a sponge drips water, and arrived at a thick forest of human beings, a crowd of people sprouting in all directions like leaves on jungle trees.”
“They are the Eggheads. He is the Walrus.”
“But it's not as simple as that," he told himself, because the dance of the Shadow Warrior showed him that silence had its own grace and beauty (just as speech could be graceless and ugly); and that Action could be as noble as Words; and that creatures of darkness could be as lovely as the children of the light. "If Guppees and Chupwalas didn't hate each other so," he thought, "they might actually find each other pretty interesting. Opposites attract, as they say.”
“The Pages of Gup, now that they had talked through everything so fully, fought hard, remained united, support each other when required to do so, and in general looked like a force with a common purpose. All those arguments and debates, all that openness, had created powerful bonds of friendship between them.”
“Happy endings must come at the end of something,' the Walrus pointed out. 'If they happen in the middle of a story, or an adventure, or the like, all they do is cheer things up for a while.
'That'll do,' said Haroun.”
“What is the use of stories that arent even true?”
“Ngày xưa, ở vương quốc Alifbay, có một thành phố u buồn, u buồn nhất trong các thành phố, một thành phố u buồn tàn tạ đến nỗi quên cả tên mình. Thành phố ấy nằm trên bờ một đại dương ảm đạm đầy rẫy sầu ngư, một loài cá u uất đến mức ai ăn vào cũng ợ lên những bi thương, dù bầu trời vẫn một màu xanh ngắt.
Phía bắc thành phố u buồn nọ sừng sững những nhà máy đồ sộ, nơi (ấy là người ta bảo thế) nỗi buồn thực sự được sản xuất, đóng gói và gửi đi khắp nơi, món hàng ấy thế gian này dường như chẳng bao giờ thấy đủ. Khói đen phun ra từ ống khói nhà máy nỗi buồn và lơ lửng trên đầu thành phố như thể một đám hung tin.”
“And in the depths of the city, beyond an old zone of ruined buildings that looked like broken hearts, there lived a happy young fellow by the name of Haroun, the only child of the storyteller Rashid Khalifa, whose cheerfulness was famous throughout that unhappy metropolis, and whose never-ending stream of tall, short and winding tales had earned him not one but two nicknames. To his admirers he was Rashid the Ocean of Notions, as stuffed with cheery stories as the sea was full of glumfish; but to his jealous rivals he was the Shah of Blah. To his wife, Soraya, Rashid was for many years as loving a husband as anyone could wish for, and during these years Haroun grew up in a home in which, instead of misery and frowns, he had his father’s ready laughter and his mother’s sweet voice raised in song. Then something went wrong. (Maybe the sadness of the city finally crept in through their windows.) The day Soraya stopped singing, in the middle of a line, as if someone had thrown a switch, Haroun guessed there was trouble brewing. But he never suspected how much.”
“Africa, have you seen it? No? Then is it truly there?...And the past, did it happen? And the future, will it come? Believe in your own eyes and you'll get into a lot of trouble'".”
“No one beats Steven Seagal, though. He’s not here with any group. I saw him late one night dressed in a cop uniform, out on patrol with some deputies from the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Department. He’s been going out with their SWAT team. We talk a bit, and when he leaves he puts his palms together in front of his face and bows briefly. Then he hops in a cop car and speeds off.”
“One neither of us could bear. Life sometimes puts so much weight on our shoulders we crumble, bends us so far we break.”
“she decided no human man would ever touch her again. the doors to her body and heart were already locked, and she would give the key to only one man, perhaps someday...perhaps never...but all the same she didnt care about falling in love, or getting married, or any of that, anymore. it was too late for mortal men to stake any sort of claim to her affections. if she grews old and died alone, it would be in full posession of her heart.
and if she ever gave it, she would give it eternally, and without regret.”
“Vivir es relacionarse, gozar y padecer, desear, aborrecer y amar. La lectura es vida artificial y prestada, el usufructo, mediante una función cerebral, de las ideas y sensaciones ajenas, la adquisición de los tesoros de la verdad humana por compra o por estafa, no por el trabajo. No”
“Every act of becoming conscious
(it says here in this book)
is an unnatural act”
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