Again and again, literature provides an outlet for the turbulent lives of refugees

“I learned the value of humor in the days of Stalinist terror,” Kundera once said. “I was 20 then. I could always recognize a person who...


“I learned the value of humor in the days of Stalinist terror,” Kundera once said. “I was 20 then. I could always recognize a person who was not a Stalinist, a person I did not have to fear, by the way he smiled. A sense of humor was a sign of worthy recognition Since then, I’ve been terrified of a world losing its sense of humor.

Christopher Hitchens, in his memoir “Hitch-22”, said something similar. The fatwa against his friend Salman Rushdie crystallized his own values, and these are the ones that any liberal society should value: “In the column of hatred: dictatorship, religion, stupidity, demagoguery, censorship, bullying and intimidation. In the love section: literature, irony, humour, the individual and the defense of freedom of expression. Plus, of course, friendship.

Observing the bravery of the Ukrainian people, we wonder how we would cope in similar circumstances. We would all love to be George Plimpton, helping fight Sirhan Sirhan.

How would we bear? One answer comes, of all places, in Quentin Tarantino’s novelization of “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” Watching the former US president and some news channels playing soccer with Putin, I found myself reminding myself of this bit from Tarantino’s novel:

“Cliff never wondered what the Americans would do if the Russians, or the Nazis, or the Japanese, or the Mexicans, or the Vikings, or Alexander the Great ever occupied America by force. He knew what the Americans would do. They would have [expletive] their pants and call the [expletive] cops. And when they realized that the police not only couldn’t help them, but were working in the name of the occupation, after a brief period of desperation, they fell into line.

Putin’s nuclear warheads are on high alert. If your politics turns to the variety let’s tear down the government, this may be the moment you’ve been waiting for, for the born again a moment of double rapture.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Again and again, literature provides an outlet for the turbulent lives of refugees
Again and again, literature provides an outlet for the turbulent lives of refugees
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