Context & Identity in Contemporary Hungarian Art

Reimagining the near past and constructing local identities. A Fulbright project by Linnea West (2012-13)

Politics and the Whale

quotesY“We see that is can be as false to create a politics-free fictional universe as to create one in which nobody needs to work or eat or hate or love or sleep. Outside the whale it becomes necessary, and even exhilarating, to grapple with the special problems created by the incorporation of political material, because politics is by turn farce and tragedy, and sometimes (e.g. Zia’s Pakistan) both at once. Outside the whale the writer is obliged to accept that he or she is part of the crowd, part of the ocean, part of the storm, so that objectivity becomes a great dream, like perfection, an unattainable goal for which one must struggle in spite of the impossibility of success. Outside the whale is the world of Samuel Beckett’s famous formula: I can’t go on, I’ll go on.”

-Salman Rushdie, “Outside the Whale,” in Imaginary Homelands: Essays and Criticism, pp.100-101

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This entry was posted on November 25, 2012 by in Quote.
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