Monday, February 11, 2013

Teju Cole on literary empathy, humanity and drones

Teju Cole writes in The New Yorker about literary empathy, humanity and drones:

I know language is unreliable, that it is not a vending machine of the desires, but the law seems to be getting us nowhere. And so I take helpless refuge in literature again, rewriting the opening lines of seven well-known books:
Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself. Pity. A signature strike leveled the florist’s.
Call me Ishmael. I was a young man of military age. I was immolated at my wedding. My parents are inconsolable.
Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead bearing a bowl of lather. A bomb whistled in. Blood on the walls. Fire from heaven.
I am an invisible man. My name is unknown. My loves are a mystery. But an unmanned aerial vehicle from a secret location has come for me.
Someone must have slandered Josef K., for one morning, without having done anything truly wrong, he was killed by a Predator drone.
 Okonkwo was well known throughout the nine villages and even beyond. His torso was found, not his head.
Mother died today. The program saves American lives.

You can read more here.

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