Redemption, patriarchy and elephants
booksa.hr August–September 2020
- Eurozine Review
booksa.hr talks to Rachel Kushner about prison, redemption and the first person; to Želimir Periš about postmodern witches and why the end of patriarchy won’t bring utopia closer; and to Etgar Keret about existence and elephants.
Kushner offers her perspective on forgiveness and redemption: ‘A California prison can make Christianity seem soft and loving by comparison with a system that offers no redemption, no second change whatsoever’. But not everything is so bleak: America is ‘a trash place, but it’s trash with a certain tragic profundity and a whole lot of flair’.
Croatian novelist Želimir Periš discusses his latest novel a punk parody of a nineteenth-century tale featuring a village witch named Gila. Periš contrasts Gila with the Virgin Mary and points out the paradox – that Gila is first and foremost a devoted mother. Despite featuring strong female protagonists, Periš insists that the book be read primarily as a historical novel with a postmodern twist. All novels should be feminist, he claims, and yet, despite the patriarchal era coming to an end, emerging forms of discrimination will remove us even further from utopia.
Fragments of existence
‘A short story is like a volcanic eruption – it starts abruptly and you never know where it might lead’, says Etgar Keret. The Israeli writer and graphic novelist describes his short stories as a mixture of objective narrative and readers’ interpretation, and his writing process as ‘anything but rational’. As for grasping the wholeness of human existence, it is ‘like a blind man meeting an elephant – only fragments are comprehensible’. Keret’s most recent collection, Fly Already, deals with loneliness and isolation, with unease about a world that is changing too quickly and with a reality that has become stranger than fiction.
This article is part of the 17/2020 Eurozine review. Click here to subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get updates on reviews and our latest publishing.
Published 23 September 2020
Original in English
First published by Eurozine
After being expelled from the USA for her affiliation to the Communist Party, Trinidad-born Claudia Jones became a key figure in the movement for racial justice in Britain. Known as the ‘mother of carnival’, rarely are the various strands of Jones’ life as a journalist, activist and poet pictured together.
The US Supreme Court has overturned two landmark cases that protected a woman’s rights over her own body for 50 years. How did ‘fetal politics’ — a political movement that has turned embryos and fetuses into ‘unborn children’ endowed with unique and inviolable civil rights – gain such momentum? And what will be the outcome of this new ruling?