Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Writing in a world in crises

The empty chair is for the comedian Zargana convicted to 35 years in prison.

Writing in a world in crises is problematic. The freedom of expression is shackled by taboos about certain subjects. In Turkey those are: Kemal Atta Turk, Armenia, the Kurdish issue, political Islam and military in politics. If as a writer you even slightly approach one of these subjects in a way that is perceived to be critical of the official views you can end up up killed like Hrant Dink or in jail like Leyla Zalan.
The other part of the evening was dedicated to Palestinian writers. We know Mourid Barghouti, but who else. Can writers escape politics, I am afraid they cannot: they still need paper and pen, light at night and the safety to live and think in, food for their families and medical care.
There are 700 checkpoints and people cannot go to their fields or visit their family, there is hardly any water. The task of the Palestinian writers is Herculean: to create a new world while being powerless in an occupied country. Peace now, so that children, men and women and poetry can flourish.


  1. Many wise and famous persons, including many successful writers, have agreed, throughout history, that 'The ONLY reason to write is to make money'. People who disregard this truism, and attempt to change the world by writing, frequently only succeed in changing their own, individual world, by enclosing it within bars. Because they are also disregarding the wisdom of another successful writer, Elmore Leonard, who advises 'Write whatever you want, but then eliminate all the parts people don't want to read'.

  2. For those who see a contradiction in my posts, yes, Muddy does pay me by the word. I don't contribute this drivel just for the fun of it. I presume all you other posters are paid as well. Perhaps we should all get together and compare rates, maybe form a 'Muddy's Posters' Union', hold 'Muddy'd Poster's Protests', take a chance on incarceration to protect our 'inalienable rights to fair and equitable compensation'. After all, a lot of good writing has been done behind prison walls, where distractions are kept to a minimum, like pursuing the weevils in your gruel each morning. A bit of solitary confinement might provide just the boost some of your careers need.