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Introduction to Rushdie’s Haroun and the Sea of Stories.

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1 Introduction to Rushdie’s Haroun and the Sea of Stories

2 Life of Salman Rushdie Born in Bombay, India in 1947 Educated in the English tradition, including Cambridge University 1980 he published his second novel, Midnight’s Children, which received the Booker Prize

3 Satanic Verses 1988, he published in Great Britain his novel, The Satanic Verses; a magical realism novel about two persons who miraculously survive a bomb which detonates when their plane is at 30,000 feet. His novel angered British Muslims because of his depictions of Mohammed; they asked the British government to ban the book but their request was denied

4 A Crisis In response to requests made by angry Muslims. The Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini of Iran issued a decree calling for the death of Rushdie and all those associated with the publication of his book Satanic Verses Ayatollah is a religious title in Shi’i Islam

5 Fatwa The decree Khomeini issued is called a fatwa A fatwa is a judgement rendered by a mufti or cleric. A mufti's authority derives in part from receiving the equivalent of a doctorate from a college or madrasas. Each madrasas is allied with one of the four Islamic jurist traditions or madhhabs. The fatwa issued by the Ayatollah Khomeini declared that the author of Satanic Verses as well as all publishers madhur el dam, "those whose blood must be shed." He further asked a all devout Muslims to execute these persons.

6 Rushdie’s Peril In London, Rushdie was taken under the protection of the British Secret Service. The threats of his situation were not exaggerated. In 1991, a Japanese translator of the novel was stabbed to death and an Italian translator was stabbed. In 1993, a Norwegian publisher was attacked. President Clinton greeted Rushdie November 24, 1993 when Rushdie went to the United States to give a keynote address. In September 1998, the Iranian government rescinded the fatwa; however, the fatwa had been issued by the Ayatollah Khomeini who had immense personal authority and in the eyes of some Muslims only a cleric with equivalent authority can rescind the fatwa against Rushdie.

7 Haroun and the Sea of Stories Rushdie published this book in 1990, which was the second year of his seclusion. He dedicated the novel to his son Zafar, from his first marriage; Zafar was 10 years old at the time. The light hearted, hopeful novel grew out of stories Rushdie told his son.

8 Big Ideas in Haroun The importance of art, all art – verbal, plastic, dramatic, musical The importance of free speech The child’s quest to right a wrong The child’s recognition of the fallibility of parents The instability of language and meaning

9 The Narrative Structure of Haroun A quest to solve a problem A series of embedded journeys to magical, imaginary lands A climactic war between opposites The hero’s introduction to helpers and donors

10 Haroun and The 1001 Nights This novel has close ties with The 1001 Arabian Nights; The hero’s name is Haroun; his father’s name is Rashid; the family’s last name is Khalifa A major character in The 1001 Nights is Caliph Harun al-Rashid, who appears first in the 640 th night; he is a curious man who wants to understand the motivations of certain persons and thus listens to their stories.

11 Shahrazad The narrator of the Tales from the Arabian Nights was the wife of the cruel King Shahryar who had killed 330 wives in order to preserve his honor To save other women from this fate, Shahrazad volunteered to marry the king She had a trick to save herself; every night she told a story so compelling that when morning came and the story was not over, the king would spare her life in order to here the rest of the story the next night

12 Shahrazad & Rushdie Threatened with death for unjustified reasons Uses art to create an escape from reality and death Both are defined by their art What other comparisons can you think of?

13 And The Wizard of Oz Rushdie saw the film when he was a 10-year-old boy and only later read Baum’s books He wrote an essay on the film and analyzed its elements which made it a iconic landmark He writes, “But of all movies, the one that helped me most as I tried to find the right voice for Haroun was The Wizard of Oz. The film’s influence is there in the text, plain to see. In Haroun’s companions there are clear echoes of the friends who danced with Dorothy down the Yellow Brick Road.”

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