Salman Rushdie, or the confidences of a survivor

Salman Rushdie, or the confidences of a survivor

Nearly two years after surviving a knife attack, during which he lost his right eye, the American-British writer Salman Rushdie comes out of his reserve. He gave an interview to the American journalist Anderson Cooper as part of the famous program “Sixty minutes”, of which the CBS channel delivered a few extracts on the eve of its broadcast, Sunday April 14.

Upcoming publication of the story of his attack

Under the influence of a fatwa from Iran since the publication of Satanic versesin 1988, Salman Rushdie, 76 years old, reads in this interview a passage from the book he dedicated to his attack, which occurred in the summer of 2022. Entitled The knifeit must appear in the United States on April 16 and in France on the 18th. But, due to security requirements, no copy is available before D-day.

In his story he describes “the last thing my right eye will ever see” : a man in black clothes “coming fast and low”like a “crouching missile”. An irruption of death that, in a way, he had been waiting for a long time, he who was forced to live in hiding and under police protection. “I must confess, I had sometimes imagined my killer standing up at some public event or other, and lunging at me in exactly this way.”, he also explains. And to complete: “So my first thought when I saw this murderous form rushing towards me was: “So it’s you, here you are.”»

A ” chance ” in his bad luck

During the interview, Salman Rushdie also shares the thoughts of one of the surgeons who treated him upon his arrival at the hospital. “First you were really unlucky, then really lucky,” said the doctor who, when his patient asked him what the lucky part was, replied: “the man who attacked you had no idea how to kill a man with a knife”.

A chance that he recognizes, considering that he should have died that day, and which places him face to face with a “contradiction”he underlined, asking himself in front of the journalist: “How can someone who doesn’t believe in the supernatural consider that something that appears to be a miracle has happened?” Salman Rushdie does not have the answer to this question: “I don't believe that a hand came down from heaven to protect me. But something happened that shouldn't have happened.”, he continued. And to admit: “I can’t explain it to myself. »

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