Would The Satanic Verses Have Been Published Today? Salman Rushdie Says No

Salman Rushdie/Photo © Andersphoto/Shutterstock
Salman Rushdie/Photo © Andersphoto/Shutterstock

Author Salman Rushdie has told the BBC that his controversial novel The Satanic Verses would never have been published if it was written today. He hopes that we can emerge from what he terms "a climate of fear" resulting from religious extremism. Who better to comment than a man who was forced to go into hiding due to reaction to his writing?

Another heavy-hitting novelist, James Ellroy, has two new titles headed to the big screen: The Big Nowhere and Blood's a Rover. The latter is based on his most recent book, which concerns (big surprise, considering the rest of today's items) political assassinations and conspiracy theories. Will either of these make as big a splash as "L.A. Confidential," or even "The Black Dahlia"? I guess we'll see how election season goes.

Remember how erstwhile presidential candidate Michele Bachmann claimed that Gore Vidal's novel Burr was the impetus for her becoming conservative? A Bloomberg op-ed posits that the 1973 novel is the antidote to the Tea Party's myths about America's founding fathers: "Americans' usual belief in their country’s uniqueness, and in the unique wisdom of its founders, becomes in Vidal’s hands a fairy tale that no grown-up could possibly credit in the first place." Hey, if you wanted proof that American adults haven't outgrown fairy tales, just look at what's playing in theaters.

And on the lighter side, everyone's been going nuts over the news that Adele will be performing the theme to the upcoming James Bond movie "Skyfall," joining the ranks of singers such as Shirley Bassey, Nancy Sinatra, Tina Turner, and (a bit more recently) Chris Cornell. If you dig a little, you'll find that Wikipedia has a list of unused songs that were written for the films but left by the wayside. Here's Johnny Cash singing a scrapped theme for "Thunderball.

  • Fidela

    I agree with Salman Rushdie. Religiously inflammatory (even when not designed to be) material is often suppressed to appease the masses. History is filled authors who are blacklisted and have their work banned.
    I believe in freedom of speech, press etc. Even when I disagree with what is written, so long as it's not slander, I believe firmly in our right to express ourselves. I don't think artists should back down because of intimidation from a sect of people.
    I hope that Mr.Rushdie continues to stay safe as I'm sure some people will never forget what he has produced.