During the years 1945-1965, there was a certain way of thinking correctly, a certain style of political discourse, a certain ethnic of the intellectual. These were the three requirements that made acceptable the strange occupation of writing and speaking a measure of truth about oneself and one’s time. Then came the five brief, impassioned, jubilant, enigmatic years.
There was once a sign for peace, we fought for it, the world over – Paris, 1968, the thirteenth of May, I was there. In 1969, Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five, Puzo’s The Godfather, Le Guin’s The Left Hand of Darkness, Fowles’ The French Lieutenant’s Woman, Roth’s Portnoy’s Complaint, Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Crichton’s The Andromeda Strain, and many more unforgettable books were written.
Is the coronavirus, perversely yet appropriately, the new sign for peace? Let us again fight for it. The day of reckoning is upon us. Indifference, complaisance, compliance, intolerance, inhumanity, avarice, prejudice – due retribution will not be spared upon the culpable. Having colluded with the enemy, it is too late to clean your house. Betrayal will not be swept away, nor hidden under carpet. Whatever you lose was not yours to have.
It is time to re-write the scripts, to re-configure the maps, to re-new the vows. Time to begin again.