Is Nothing Sacred? The Herbert Read Memorial Lecture

Rushdie, Salman

Primary Category: Literature / Nonfiction

Genre: Essay

Annotated by:
Wear, Delese
  • Date of entry: Jun-22-1994


In this essay on the spirit and the sacred, Rushdie examines the importance of language and literature in a secular, rationalist, materialist culture. He makes a case for literature as a privileged arena so that we can, "within the secrecy of our own heads . . . hear voices talking about everything in every possible way."


This is a rather difficult essay, but it raises important questions regarding literature as an area of discourse, where the "struggle of languages can be acted out." If discussion in Literature and Medicine classes ever focuses on privileged discourses (which science/medicine most certainly are in contemporary western cultures), this is a good selection to use. Lecture delivered by Harold Pinter at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, Feb. 6, 1990.

Primary Source

GRANTA 31: 98-11 (1990)


GRANTA, Distr. by Viking Penguin

Place Published

New York