Sunday, January 9, 2022

the last book I ever read (Admiring Silence by Abdulrazak Gurnah, excerpt thirteen)

from Admiring Silence by Abdulrazak Gurnah, the 2021 winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature:

I knew then (not that I didn’t really know before, but some lessons have to be learned and relearned, and even then we forget them so easily and talk ourselves into something ameliorating and hopeful) that the food-stores were going to remain empty, and that schools would be without books, and the air would be filled with cruel, duplicitous promises, that justice would be just another word brayed from the mouths of the donkeys who rule us, and of course the toilets were going to remain blocked for a long time. If, with all that was waiting for him to do, our chief found time to concern himself with the intimate and pathetic doings of my existence and the unthinking meannesses of my family, then there was little else to do but hope that the funding from the Scandinavian cultural institute would turn up and keep the ramshackle ship of state afloat. If our chief, who was rumoured to be the best of them, could only fill his head with such gossip, nothing could be expected of the rest. They had long ago turned into organs of consumption and penetration, prehensile tools of self-gratification.

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