The Satanic Verses
by Salman Rushdie
Meeting at Sylvia’s on Tuesday 4th December at 7:30 for 7:45
“The Satanic Verses is Salman Rushdie’s fourth novel, first published in 1988 and inspired in part by the life of Muhammad, the prophet of Islam. As with his previous books, Rushdie used magical realism and relied on contemporary events and people to create his characters. The title refers to the satanic verses, a group of Quranic verses that refer to three Pagan Meccan goddesses: Allāt, Uzza, and Manāt. The part of the story that deals with the “satanic verses” was based on accounts from the historians al-Waqidi and al-Tabari.
Overall, the book received favourable reviews from literary critics. In a 2003 volume of criticism of Rushdie’s career, the influential critic Harold Bloom named The Satanic Verses “Rushdie’s largest aesthetic achievement”.
Timothy Brennan called the work “the most ambitious novel yet published to deal with the immigrant experience in Britain” that captures the immigrants’ dream-like disorientation and their process of “union-by-hybridization”. The book is seen as “fundamentally a study in alienation.”
Muhammd Mashuq ibn Ally wrote that “The Satanic Verses is about identity, alienation, rootlessness, brutality, compromise, and conformity. These concepts confront all migrants, disillusioned with both cultures: the one they are in and the one they join. Yet knowing they cannot live a life of anonymity, they mediate between them both. The Satanic Verses is a reflection of the author’s dilemmas.” The work is an “albeit surreal, record of its own author’s continuing identity crisis.” Ally said that the book reveals the author ultimately as “the victim of nineteenth-century British colonialism.” Rushdie himself spoke confirming this interpretation of his book, saying that it was not about Islam, “but about migration, metamorphosis, divided selves, love, death, London and Bombay.” He has also said “It’s a novel which happened to contain a castigation of Western materialism. The tone is comic.” ”
 John D. Erickson (1998). Islam and Postcolonial Narrative. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
 Ian Richard Netton (1996). Text and Trauma: An East-West Primer. Richmond, UK: Routledge Curzon.
 Harold Bloom (2003). Introduction to Bloom’s Modern Critical Views: Salman Rushdie. Chelsea House Publishers.