How would you defeat the bias of language? I don’t mean a bias that demeans or excludes people. I mean the bias that results from the lack of comprehension. Communication of representational, figurative or abstract thoughts can be tricky, even with a common language. And harder still to convey as the overlap in the roots of language lessen. A Venetian might understand the gist of an Argentinian story but what’s clear when uttered in Japanese is almost certain to be opaque to someone who hears in Greek.[Read more…] about The Arts of War
‘Life tripped me up’ is a line from a poem dictated in Turkish over a phone line from a prison, a series of which have held the poet since he was 21.
Participation in a protest over the government’s treatment of Kurds sent him into a cell as a young man. He confessed to crimes he had denied before torture that has left him scarred for life.
His pre-trial detention lasted for twenty-two years before his sentence to life imprisonment was confirmed. He wrote recently that he ‘can’t touch or communicate with other people or animals’.
You can’t read I Will Never See The World Again without being affected by it. I challenge you to read what Ahmet Altan has written especially if you worry that you have become desensitised by the descending spirals of ever worsening news. Perhaps you are inured, worrying that you have a heart of stone. He writes with such elegance and equanimity that I am certain your heart will flutter several times.
Even those of us who are empathy-challenged will be troubled by many aspects of this book.[Read more…] about Authoritarian Ignobility
We heard the siren call of the seals this afternoon. Pod, rookery or harem, there were upwards of a dozen of the pinnipeds basking in the diffuse light on rocks exposed by a very low tide.
It was befitting of Bloom’s Day to see the seals in Sandycove where James Joyce spent six nights in 1904. ‘A sleek brown head, a seal’s, far out on the water, round’ was his description of Buck Mulligan in Ulysses. Could this have been inspired by the Sandycove ancestors of these seals?