— Primo Levi, If This Is a Man
“A country is considered the more civilised the more the wisdom and efficiency of its laws hinder a weak man from becoming too weak and a powerful one too powerful.”
“I believe in nonviolence as a way of life, as a way of living.”
Civil rights leader and American politician
“I’d rather reject the terms optimistic and pessimistic. They suggest a calculation of how things are going to evolve, and if it’s going to evolve in the way you want, you’re optimistic. That has very little to do with despair and hope. Hope is not a form of guarantee, it’s a form of energy, and very frequently that energy is strongest in circumstances that are very dark.”
— John Berger, who died on 2 January 2017.
“Kuwaiti authorities have banned a book by Russian literary giant Fyodor Dostoyevsky, one of nearly 1,000 titles blacklisted at a festival which opened Wednesday in the Gulf state.
Saad al-Anzi, who heads the Kuwait International Literary Festival, told AFP the information ministry had banned 948 books including Dostoyevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov, a novel set in 19th century Russia that explores morality, free will and the existence of God.
Dostoyevsky joins a growing list of writers banned in the relatively moderate Gulf state, where a conservative trend in politics and society is rising.
More than 4,000 books have been blacklisted by Kuwait’s information ministry over the past five years, including Victor Hugo’s “The Hunchback of Notre-Dame” and “One Hundred Years of Solitude” by Colombian author Gabriel Garcia Marquez”
The editors of The New York Times Book Review choose the best fiction and nonfiction titles this year.
“A spate of women-authored speculative fiction imagines detailed worlds of widespread infertility, criminalized abortion, and flipped power dynamics”
“‘You’re hearing about everything that dies, you’re not hearing about everything that’s still alive,’ she says. ‘If you think it’s dead already then you’re not going to be bothered. I almost think people gravitate towards “It’s too late,” because then they don’t have to put themselves out.’ And then, as if casually reminding me just why her fiction, that patient, painstaking evocation of worlds, makes sense as a response to an emergency, she says: ‘Only if you love something will you inconvenience yourself to work on its behalf.'”
“When Walt Whitman was a Washington correspondent for The New York Times, the Capitol dome, like the nation, was still under construction”