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13 April 2008


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Great distillation of a stimulating session, thanks Rishi.

Two other bits I picked up - not word-for-word, but close:

On why so many books feature unhappy people... "The happy people don't need a novelist to talk about them."

On two of his characters... "I woke up in the morning, which is when I often write, I turned on my PC and I found that they had decided to get married. I was very happy."

And then this point about... 'the human rights of minorities in repressive societies, “is not a priority when everybody is suffering.” ' ... Some of the sessions over the weekend may have challenged that. But maybe Al Aswany's disease/symptom analysis can be helpful here. I would say the repression of a minority is a symptom of a more fundamental political problem (the disease of undemocratic power). Awareness of and resistance to prejudice against any minority group is very important, but that shouldn’t distract from the fundamental problem (power and its abuses) – that’s my take on what he was saying.

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