Sunday, March 27, 2005

Tens Of Thousands Of Stories

Yesterday I wrote about the
tsunami and remembrance. I ended the piece like this:
But the individual stories still matter: they are the personal and existential realities of death and loss, of survival and hope, of frailty and strength.
The Guardian has a long essay by the novelist Louise Doughty who has visited Sri Lanka and asked the island's writers and artists whether thay can play a part in the process of recovery. She gathers some very perceptive reflections from her interviewees. Here is the playwright and filmmaker Delon Weerasinghe:
The tsunami wasn't a story. It was tens of thousands of stories. No novel or play could possibly do justice to that. No single fiction could represent the multiplicity of experiences which this country went through, never mind elsewhere.
And here is Romesh Gunesekera on the writer's need to write even in the face of appalling events:
Most writers are dealing with the world they live in ... a world in which terrible things have happened and are still happening. Writing is not a matter of duty, it is more a kind of negotiation with different realities. We each do it in our own way and perhaps don't have much choice in how or what we end up writing.
There are lots of other insights into Sri Lanka's rich literary life and the rest is worth reading.


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