Lying and error are the same word for the Greeks, which is interesting. That is, “to be wrong” could have various causes: you wanted to lie, or you just didn’t know the truth, or you forgot, and those are all one concept. That interests me, the bundling together and looking at the situation from a point of view of consequences and not motivation.
Complainers who can’t come up with solutions are just whiners. Go 24 hours without complaining once, and see how transformative life can be.
“It was, gentlemen, after a long absence—seven years to be exact, during which time I was studying in Europe—that I returned to my people.”
So begins Tayeb Salih’s 1966 novel Season of Migration to the North. This fraught first sentence, spoken by a westernized Sudanese narrator returning home, has many layers of division—between home and away, between outsider and insider, between strong and weak, between man and woman, between West and East, between black and white.
In his essay for this series, All Our Names author Dinaw Mengestu indicts what he calls “the fractured gaze”: any worldview that sets apart “us” apart from “them.” For Mengestu, literature offers a way to see beyond the simplistic labels that confine us. In a passage from Season of Migration to the North that suggests the essential human sameness of the Sudanese and Europeans, Mengestu locates his mission statement.
Read more. [Image: Doug McLean]