Tag Archives: Freedom

Literature will set us free

“Nothing can defend us better against ignorance, prejudice, racism, nothing better than good literature. […] good books are the best defense that we have against prejudices, against distorted views of people of different languages, different beliefs, different customs. We discover that in spite of all differences, the common denominator among men and women of different traditions is much more important, because we are all humans and we are all challenged by very similar kinds of problems and obstacles that we have to overcome in order to survive, in order to live.

If free and democratic societies are to carry on as such, it is imperative that their citizens be trained by reading good literature not only for the great pleasure the activity affords, but also for its great potential to stimulate the critical mind, which is the real engine of historical change and the best protector of liberty.”

From: cnnphilippines.com/life/culture/literature/2016/11/09/mario-vargas-llosa.html

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Book censorship in America

“Under the First Amendment, the U.S. government cannot outright ban literature in the United States, but […]  books can be hidden from public view or written off as conspiracy theory in order to prevent people from reading them.”

“While censorship is often conducted by corporations and governments to prevent words, images or ideas from entering the mainstream, censorship of literature has been around as early as 399 B.C. and has affected intellectuals and philosophers such as Socrates.” […]

“The urge to censor is hardly the monopoly of any political group. But the greatest threat today comes from the fundamentalist right, with its ideological hostility to other religious or philosophical systems, to homosexuality, to sex education, and indeed to the basic idea of secular education.”

“Whether in print or digital format, books are a precious resource, providing us with information, entertainment, opinions, ideas, and a window on lives far different from our own,” wrote Molly Raphael, president of the American Library Association, in a piece to remind Americans that censorship still exists, even with the existence of the Internet.”

“Free access to books and ideas is the foundation of our government and our society, enabling every person to become an educated participant in our democratic republic.”

From: mintpressnews.com/banned-forgotten-book-censorship-u-s/193202/

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Literature is Freedom

“Even when a country is not free, its writers are free.” It is, therefore, important for a writer to “speak the truth and keep the conscience. …

“The rulers of the country are not worth the literature the country is producing … literature stands for “freedom of the mind in the past, present and the future”.

When the political atmosphere in a country does not allow for unbridled free speech, metaphors have always served as the “hiding place” for writers. Many have managed to speak between lines through metaphors during the reign of the most draconian rulers.”

From: http://m.thehindu.com/news/states/karnataka/literature-equals-freedom-of-the-mind/article4177593.ece/

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The function of a writer, literature

“The function of a committed writer is to reveal the world so that every reader loses her innocence and assumes all her responsibilities in front of it.”

“The function of a writer is to call a spade a spade. If words are sick, it is up to us to cure them. Instead of that, many writers live off this sickness. In many cases modern literature is a cancer of words. There is nothing more deplorable than the literary practice which, I believe, is called poetic prose and which consists of using words for the obscure harmonics which resound about them and which are made up of vague meanings which are in contradiction with the clear meaning.”

“That is not all: we are living in an age of mystifications. Some are fundamental ones which are due to the structure of society; some are secondary. At any rate, the social order today rests upon the mystification of consciousness, as does disorder as well.” 

“There is no guarantee that literature is immortal. If writers lose it, too bad for us. But also, too bad for society. Of course, all that is not very important. The world can do very well without literature. But it can do without man still better.” 

“Language is our shell and our antennae, it is the prolongation of our senses, a third eye which is going to look into our neighbors heart.” 

“We are within language as within our body.” 

“To speak is to act; anything which one names is already no longer quite the same; it has lost its innocence.”

“Sartre asserts that if a writer is not fully committed to both political and more importantly economic liberty, he is internally at war with the fundamental free nature of literature.”

“Though people say a film, podcast, song or interview changed their life, prose retains a unique ability to not just to crystallize an emotional or intellectual recognition but to spark a chain of insights that illuminates a different path in life.”

More: http://www.businessinsider.com/the-future-is-unknown-but-we-know-the-unsustainable-will-implode-2012-4

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Literature will set you free: LitBash 22

Literature will set you free: “A knowledge of different literatures is the best way to free one’s self from the tyranny of any of them.” Here’s a collection of writers from around the world who were…

Born this week:

Juan Rulfo, Mexico
“No one knows better than I do how far heaven is, but I also know all the shortcuts. The secret is to die, when you want to, and not when He proposes. Or else to force Him to take you before your time.”

Henri Barbusse, France
“Two armies that fight each other is like one large army that commits suicide.

Gunnar Gunnarsson, Iceland

Honore de Balzac, France

“I prefer thought to action, an idea to a transaction, contemplation to activity.”

Hector Malot, France

Sigrid Undset, Norway
“I hated school so intensely. It interfered with my freedom. I avoided the discipline by an elaborate technique of being absent-minded during classes.”

Wolfgang Borchert, Germany

Gerard de Nerval, France
“He knew that the whole mystery of beauty can never be comprehended by the crowd, and that while clearness is a virtue of style, perfect explicitness is not a necessary virtue.”

Arthur Conan Doyle, UK
“The highest morality may prove also to be the highest wisdom when the half-told story comes to be finished.”

Died this week:

Irwin Shaw, USA

Pierre Augustin de Beaumarchais, France

“Drinking when not thirsty and making love all the time, madam, is all that distinguishes us from other animals.”

Nathaniel Hawthorne, USA
“In youth men are apt to write more wisely than they really know or feel; and the remainder of life may be not idly spent in realizing and convincing themselves of the wisdom which they uttered long ago.”

George Meredith, UK
“Who rises from prayer a better man, his prayer is answered.”

William Saroyan, USA
“I began to write in the first place because I expected everything to change, and I wanted to have things in writing the way they had been.”

James Boswell, UK
“He who has provoked the lash of wit, cannot complain that he smarts from it.”

Jose Marti, Cuba
“A knowledge of different literatures is the best way to free one’s self from the tyranny of any of them.”

Ogden Nash, USA
“A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of.”

Klaus Mann, Gremany

Victor Hugo, France
“You have enemies? Why, it is the story of every man who has done a great deed or created a new idea.”

Jules Renard, France
“No matter how much care an author takes to write as few books as possible, there will be people who haven’t heard of some of them.”

The writer is the most threatening person for dictatorships

“The murder of poets and writers was the beginning of murder of a universal freedom of a whole people […] Freedom begins and ends every time that a writer is murdered […] – the defender of the right and just is annihilated, since it is the most articulate voice of society, every time that fear overcomes dissent, every time that the voice that sounds different is seen as a threat. The writer is the most threatening person for dictatorships and dictators. Democratic society and its institutions must see their perfect reflection in the acts of writers and in the writers themselves.

[…] the effort to remain human never ends. It takes meaning from political systems, from circumstances, from the goals that it has, from the standards of freedom and morality that the individual seeks for him, for the society and his country. Let the memory of martyr intellectuals, poets and writers encourage us and for such a goal!

May their memory and deeds be immortal!” SOURCE