MEMORY AGAINST FORGETTING
Another use of literacy:
From the excellent fifth and final chapter of Writing in an Age of Silence by Sara Paretsky, which I've just read for the second time within a few weeks.
I keep thinking of Anna Akhmatova, outside the prison in
where her son was being held by Stalin. She wrote: Leningrad
In the terrible years of the Yeshov [head of the NKVD] terror, I spent seventeen months in the prison lines of
. Once, someone recognized me. Then a woman with bluish lips standing behind me...woke up from the stupor to which everyone had succumbed and whispered in my ear (everyone spoke in whispers there): Leningrad
“Can you describe this?”
And I answered: “Yes, I can.”
Then something that looked like a smile passed over what had once been her face.
There's quite a lot of useful learning in it, not least this snippet: apparently in the 19th century in America, schemes for the establishment of public libraries and schools were regularly denounced as socialist/communist. And this, in a section addressing the reduction in the number of publishers and news orgnaisations to a handful of conglomerate-owned companies:
Forces of silence can come more subtly from the market than from the edicts of a totalitarian state.Which Roth and Klima also noted.