Writers Convey Pain and Suffering To Help Alleviate Pain and Suffering
Salman Rushdie was stabbed by a madman while on stage in upstate New York last month. All because he wrote a book that Muslim extremists do not like. According to The New York Times, Rushdie had been living under the threat of assassination since 1989, six months after the publication of his novel The Satanic Verses.
Did you know that the novel’s Japanese translator was stabbed to death and its Italian translator was badly wounded in 1991? Also, the novel’s Norwegian publisher was shot three times in 1993 outside his home in Oslo and was seriously injured.
This is what happens when totalitarianism flourishes, as it has for eons in various dark recesses of the world. Rushdie previously noted:
In any authoritarian society, the possessor of power dictates, and if you try and step outside, he will come after you. This is equally true of Sovietism, of China and of Iran, and in our time it has happened a lot in Islam. The point is that it's worse when the authoritarianism is supported by something supernatural.
I’m horrified by the attack on Rushdie and the bloodthirsty quest to silence any writer. I’m equally disgusted by the fact that there are people in the United States today who seek to burn or ban books and force their twisted worldviews and rules of conduct on others who do not want it.
In related news, I recently read A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini (who also wrote The Kite Runner). The book’s central theme is the treatment of women in Afghanistan. It’s a difficult read because the violence in the author’s fiction is utterly real for the women of Taliban-led Afghanistan today.
To get a sense of just how real, watch this segment from the BBC:
None of this is a distant struggle from a faraway place, authoritarianism and the denial of human rights that result is a global reality with a lethal American strain.
Thank You, Kansas
Following the Supreme Court’s striking down of Roe, a legal precedent that stood for fifty years, more than 900,000 Kansans showed up to the polls on August 2nd, to vote on the state’s abortion referendum. That’s the biggest turnout for a primary election in the state’s history. It was also a decisive win for people who value freedom and human rights.
Will this momentum carry over into November? If it does, as it did in Alaska, the voting public can right the American ship, and holier-than-thou fascist idolaters can walk the plank.
It’s Natural and Good to Seek An Audience
Writers of poems, essays, and stories tend to adhere to a school of thought about writing into the void with no concern for the marketplace or the people in it who might want to read their work. I get it and there is some wisdom in their warnings. As a literary artist, it’s up to you to paint your masterpiece and make the work only you can make, buyers (and would-be fans) be damned.
Across this grain, Lauren Acampora, author of The Hundred Waters, adeptly describes the work of a writer:
As an artist, you’re compelled not to just to manifest your vision of the world, but to share it with others. Your job is to run your raw perception and experience of the world through the alchemizing mechanism of your own singular, idiosyncratic mind—and then try to package it in the form of something new, inimitable, and alluring that other people will want to pull into their own minds.
To me, it’s important that Acampora doesn’t shy away from the need for an audience. Why should she or any writer or artist? The people who choose to spend time with your writing are hugely important and it’s natural to want to inform and entertain them.
“Cats Under the Stars” by Eggy is an inventive cover of Jerry Garcia Band’s song. It ain’t complete, that’s why I’m headed down to Alley Cat Street…
Déjà Coup: A failed coup by J.P Morgan and other paranoid American capitalists was attempted when FDR eliminated the gold standard in April 1933.
Austin’s Minister of Culture is also part-owner of Austin FC, and it shows in this promo for the MLS team.
“There’s a long, long history of Americans undervaluing teachers. They’ve never paid us a living wage. For most of the 19th and 20th centuries, it was seen as women’s work, and therefore constantly trivialized.” -Jessica Wildfire
NASA wants us to hear what a black hole sounds like.
Bookshop.org is an interesting new player (that supports local bookstores) in the online book-selling bazaar.
I am currently working on two book-length manuscripts. I also work with business and community leaders to help them shape their stories and connect with new audiences.
If you want to work with me to craft powerful messaging for your brand, project, or campaign, please visit DavidBurn.com to learn more about my writing and professional services.
Thanks for being here now.