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Salman Rushdie: When I saw the attacker I thought: "So that's you"

salman rushdie

Salman Rushdie: “I admit, I have sometimes imagined my murderer rising up in a public place and coming at me just like that. So my first thought when I saw this murderous figure rushing towards me was, 'So that's you. There you are'"

(The Guardian) - Salman Rushdie has said that the first thought that came to him when he saw the man who rushed to him on stage in August 2022 was: "So this is you", writes "The Guardian". 

"It seemed like something coming from the distant past and trying to pull me back in time, if you will, into that distant past to kill me," said the British-Indian writer, author of works such as The Satanic Verses. of "Midnight Boys". 

Rushdie was scheduled to give a speech at the Chautauqua Institute in New York on August 12 when the assailant burst onto the stage and stabbed him ten times. 

"I was sitting on the right side of the stage," he said while reading parts of his upcoming book on the subject of the attack, the title of which is: "Knife: Meditation on attempted murder." "Then on my right side - the last thing I saw with my right eye - I saw a man in black running towards me from the right side of the lot to sit down. Black clothing, black face mask. It came fast and low like a low-range missile." 

“I admit, I've sometimes imagined my killer getting up in a public place and coming at me just like that. So my first thought when I saw this murderous figure rushing towards me was, 'So that's you. Here you are'". 

Rushdie spent six weeks in hospital after the attack. He lost sight in his right eye and sensation in several fingers. "One of the surgeons who saved my life told me: 'First it was fatzi and then it was lucky.' I said, 'What's the luck part?' Fortunately, the person who attacked you did not know how to kill a person with a knife", said Rushdie on "60 Minutes" with Anderson Cooper on CBS, in his first television interview after the attack. 

The attack on him came 33 years after then-Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa calling for the assassination of Salman Rushdie after the publication of the book The Satanic Verses, which was declared blasphemy.  

The accused gunman, Hadi Matar, has pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted second-degree murder and second-degree assault. Since his arrest shortly after the attack, he has been held without bail.

In January, Matari's trial was delayed because of the memoir. The lawyer representing Matar argued that they had the right to see the memoirs and any material related to the attack before his client went to trial because such a book is material evidence.