Saturday, January 10, 2009

Why you should listen to fiction writers

"However, writers such as Grossman in Israel or Arundhati Roy in India, who live amid some of the world's bloodiest conflicts, choose not to be somewhere else when triggers are being cocked and pulled. Their views demand respectful attention even when they provoke sharp disagreement. For they have consistently witnessed, and often spoken out, at considerable personal risk, against the ominous transformations within their countries: the emergence of powerful revanchist movements (Hindu nationalism, settler Zionism) the suppression of religious minorities and occupied territories with brute force (Gujarat, Kashmir, West Bank and Gaza); the diffusion of a shrill media culture on the American model, a contagion of ignorant TV anchors and "experts" who together with a reactionary political elite manufacture a consensus about how to deal with internal and external enemies (usually, with force and then much more force)."

Guess who's writing it? Pankaj Mishra, the brilliant literary critic and essayist, who's now writing, alas, for the international media only. Where does he live now?

Full article here.

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