Something To Think About
We treat the Other...as the representative of a separate species, but the most crucial point is that we treat him as a threat.
Does modern literature help to break down these prejudices, our ignorance or our plain indifference? Once again, I don't think it does much. I looked through the French literary awards for the past year, and did not find a single book with something to say about the widely understood modern world. There were love triangles, father-daughter conflict, a young couple's failed life together-things that are certainly important and interesting. But I was struck by the disdainful attitude towards the whole new trend in literature, just as fascinating, whose representatives are trying to show us the modern cultures, ideas and behaviour of people who live in different geographical latitudes and who believe in different gods from us, but who do actually constitute part of the great human family to which we all belong....These books do not win prizes, they are not even noticed, because - in some people's opinions - they are not so-called real literature.
Ryszard Kapuściński, The Other, tr. Antonia Lloyd-Jones