Magical Realism, Writing, Fiction, Politics, Haiku, Books

lunes, mayo 14, 2012

Writers Of The World Unite, We Have Nothing To Lose

but our keyboards.

Sunday's Demo (NYT photo)

How heartened I am by today's NY Times article about the writers' demonstration on Sunday:

There were no opposition leaders at the head of the vast column of people that peacefully wound its way through central Moscow on Sunday.

There was, instead, a corpulent poet, whose admirers thrust lilac boughs at him. A bespectacled detective novelist was autographing everything at hand — books, of course, but also scratch paper, identification cards and, once, a middle-aged woman in a white T-shirt. People mobbed a diminutive grandmother who has won many of Russia’s literary prizes and who acknowledged to a reporter that “crowds drive me crazy and make me want to hide somewhere.”

It was only four days ago when 12 prominent authors, disturbed by the crackdown on dissent that accompanied President Vladimir V. Putin’s inauguration, announced an experiment. They called it a “test stroll,” which aimed to determine whether it was possible to spend an afternoon walking en masse from one city park to another “without being blocked, beaten, poisoned with gas, detained, arrested or at least subjected to stupid molestation with questions.”

No one knew quite what to expect on Sunday. But when the 12 writers left Pushkin Square at lunchtime, they were trailed by a crowd that swelled to an estimated 10,000 people, stopping traffic and filling boulevards for 1.2 miles. Many wore the white ribbons that are a symbol of opposition to Mr. Putin’s government. The police did not interfere, although the organizers had not received a permit to march.

“We see by the number of people that literature still has authority in our society because no one called these people — they came themselves,” said Lev Rubinstein, 65, a poet and one of the organizers. “We thought this would be a modest stroll of several literary colleagues, and this is what happened. You can see it yourself.”

“I don’t know how this will all end, but I can say that no one will forget it,” he said.

And my fellow scribblers? It's not time right this minute to pull on your walking shoes. But if it would help, I think we could link up and easily follow this plucky example.

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