Friday, August 29, 2008

What can truth do in a world like this?

"We shall be asked, 'What can literature do in the face of the merciless onslaught of open violence?' But let us not forget that violence does not exist alone and cannot survive in isolation; it is inevitably bound up with the lie.

Between them there is the most intimate, most natural, fundamental link: violence can only be concealed by the lie, and the lie can be maintained only by violence. . . . Violence does not always necessarily take you physically by the throat and strangle you; more often it merely demands of its subjects that they declare allegiance to the lie, become accomplices in the lie.

And the simple step of a simple, courageous man is not to take part in the lie, not to support deceit. Let the lie come into the world, even dominate the world, but not through me."

Alexander Solzhenitsyn, One Word of Truth, pages 26-27.