Previously I have reviewed Books, Theatre & Films. This time am reviewing a piece by Doris Lessing, winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize in Literature.
Read here (Copyright: The Novel Foundation 2007)
She talks about her days in Zimbabwe, her experiences watching people survive poverty, hunger, war and strife but still yearning for books to learn and read. A young pregnant woman standing in a queue for getting water in a draught area with two kids clinging to her and still trying to read Anna Karenin. They say 'People get Governments they deserve'. But DO THEY? A young man trying to learn how to read English from 'Jam bottle labels' and discarded Children's encyclopedia. In contrast to the Developed world with abundance of books, bulging studies at home, access to vast libraries, leisure reading while traveling in a flight. How in a world of scarcity you focus on creating readers and writers?
In between the irony and dichotomy, little joys and big frustrations, there is a dream – A Dream to be a WRITER, A Dream to READ, A Dream to EXPLORE the world through the world of Writing. Pamuk, VS Naipaul, John Coetzee they all had access to lots of books, this instates the fact that 'Writing, writers, do not come out of houses without books.' You can be a writer but to become a Storyteller – there is a space IN this world, INSIDE you which one searches and that transforms. She asks 'Have you found a space, that empty space which should surround you when you write? Into that space, which is like a form of listening, of attention, will come the words, the words your characters will speak, ideas-inspiration. If a Writer cannot find this space, then poem and stories may be stillborn.'
She then takes it to a much higher level, to the DREAM of CREATING, of writing History, creating heritage, recording legends, passing the stories from generation to generation – Romans, Greeks, Egyptians - all have given us great stories. narrating the happenings, their stories, the history, their opinions, their versions, their facts and other's fiction, or vice versa. This is the POWER of READING and WRITING which binds us, makes us and immortalizes us for all who can read and write and have books to read. She quotes profoundly:
'Ask modern storytellers and they will say there is always a moment when they are touched with fire, with what we like to call Inspiration.'
'The Storyteller is deep inside every one of us. The Story-maker is always with us. It is the Storyteller, the dream-maker, the myth-maker, that is our Phoenix, that represents us at our best, and at our most creative.'
This review opened a certain door somewhere inside me and I search for that empty space to surround me when I write.
Something to share with all the Storywala I know, I read, love and adore.