Nobel for literature 2015, the ethics of forgetlessness, Belorussian writer Svetlana Alexievich, the voice of the voiceless: Reclaiming women’s and children’s suffering in war and dictatorship, bringing non-fiction into the realm of literature, like Solzhenitsyn did with “The Gulag Archipelago”. My bets did not work this time, but the choice is fabulous, terrific,impressive, and praiseworthy! For her, Soviet and post-Soviet history has been an immense graveyard and an endless bloodbath. It’s a pity that the great historian Robert Conquest is not here anymore to congratulate her. For all those who refuse to forget, this is a long-delayed vindication.I know for sure that Monica Lovinescu, Vaclav Havel, Andrei Sakharov, Elena Bonner, Natalia Gorbanevskaia and so many others would have welcomed this award.
I publish here a fragment from my lecture today @ the UMD: The Nobel Prize awarded to Svetlana Alexievich is a vindication for all those who care about the fate of victims under totalitarianism; about the salvation of memory; and about liberty in Belarus. For those who may have forgotten the great lesson of Romanian cultural critic and anti-totalitarian fighter Monica Lovinescu, we deal here with “East-ethics” (in Romanian, “est-etica”). In my view, Svetlana Alexievich’s writtings are situated precisely in the realm of “the bloody crossroads where politics and literature meet.” (Lionel Trilling)
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