Responding to a moderator at the Sydney Writers Festival in 2008 (video), about the Spanish words in his book:When all of us are communicating and talking when we’re out in the world, we’ll be lucky if we can understand 20 percent of what people say to us. A whole range of clues, of words, of languages escape us. I mean we’re not perfect, we’re not gods. But on top of that people mis-speak, sometimes you mis-hear, sometimes you don’t have attention, sometimes people use words you don’t know. Sometimes people use languages you don’t know. On a daily basis, human beings are very comfortable with a large component of communication, which is incomprehensibility, incomprehension. We tend to be comfortable with it. But for an immigrant, it becomes very different. What most of us consider normative comprehension an immigrant fears that they’re not getting it because of their lack of mastery in the language.And what’s a normal component in communication, incomprehension, in some ways for an immigrant becomes a source of deep anxiety because you’re not sure if it’s just incomprehension or your own failures. My sense of writing a book where there is an enormous amount of language that perhaps everyone doesn’t have access to was less to communicate the experience of the immigrant than to communicate the experience that for an immigrant causes much discomfort but that is normative for people. which is that we tend to not understand, not grasp a large part of the language around us. What’s funny is, will Ramona accept incomprehension in our everyday lives and will greet that in a book with enormous fury. In other words what we’re comfortable with out in the outside world, we do not want to encounter in our books.So I’m constantly, people have come to me and asked me… is this, are you trying to lock out your non-Dominican reader, you know? And I’m like, no? I assume any gaps in a story and words people don’t understand, whether it’s the nerdish stuff, whether it’s the Elvish, whether it’s the character going on about Dungeons and Dragons, whether it’s the Dominican Spanish, whether it’s the sort of high level graduate language, I assume if people don’t get it that this is not an attempt for the writer to be aggressive. This is an attempt for the writer to encourage the reader to build community, to go out and ask somebody else. For me, words that you can’t understand in a book aren’t there to torture or remind people that they don’t know. I always felt they were to remind people that part of the experience of reading has always been collective. You learn to read with someone else. Yeah you may currently practice it in a solitary fashion, but reading is a collective enterprise. And what the unintelligible in a book does is to remind you how our whole, lives we’ve always needed someone else to help us with reading.
Junot Díaz
Terry took the silence as acquiescence, The other way to make money is to exploit people, oh, no sorry, that’s the ‘only’ way to make money, exploit other people, that’s how the billionaires have acquired all their money by exploiting others… So how did they achieve it? You’re going to love this… they changed all the rules to accommodate what they wanted to do. How I hear you ask… easy, they own the politicians, they own the banks, they own industry and they own everything. They made it easier for themselves to invest in so called emerging markets. What once would’ve been considered treasonous was now considered virtuous. Instead of building up the nation state and its resources, all of its resources, including its people, they concentrated on building up their profits. That’s all they did. They invested in parts of the world where children could be worked for 12 hours a day 7 days a week, where grown men and women could be treated like slaves and all for a pittance and they did this because we here in the west had made it illegal to work children, because we’d abolished slavery, because we had fought for workers’ rights, for a minimum wage, for a 40 hr week, for pensions, for the right to retire, for a free NHS, for free education, all of these things were getting in the way of them making a quick and easy profit and worse …had been making us feel we were worth something.
Arun D. Ellis
You’re innocent until proven guilty, Mandy exclaimed, unable to hide her gleeful smile. She missed the way people used to have normal conversations, used to be more caring for each other than themselves, back in the Seventies and Eighties. These days, she realized, neighbors kept to themselves, their kids kept to themselves, nobody talked to each other anymore. They went to work, went shopping and shut themselves up at home in front of glowing computer screens and cellphones… but maybe the nostalgic, better times in her life would stay buried, maybe the world would never be what it was. In the 21st century music was bad, movies were bad, society was failing and there were very few intelligent people left who missed the way things used to be… maybe though, Mandy could change things. Thinking back to the old home movies in her basement, she recalled what Alecto had told her. We wanted more than anything else in the world to be normal, but we failed. The 1960’s and 1970’s were very strange times, but Mandy missed it all, she missed the days when Super-8 was the popular film type, when music had lyrics that made you think, when movies had powerful meanings instead of bad comedy and when people would just walk to a friend’s house for the afternoon instead of texting in bed all day. She missed soda fountains and department stores and non-biodegradable plastic grocery bags, she wished cellphones, bad pop music and LED lights didn’t exist… she hated how everything had a diagnosis or pill now, how people who didn’t fit in with modern, lazy society were just prescribed medications without a second thought… she hated how old, reliable cars were replaced with cheap hybrid vehicles… she hated how everything could be done online, so that people could just ignore each other… the world was becoming much more convenient, but at the same time, less human and her teenage life was considered nostalgic history now.Hanging her head low, avoiding the slightly confused stare of the cab driver through the rear view mirror, she started crying uncontrollably, her tears soaking the collar of her coat as the sun blared through the windows in a warm light.
Rebecca McNutt
The gut is the seat of all feeling. Polluting the gut not only cripples your immune system, but also destroys your sense of empathy, the ability to identify with other humans. Bad bacteria in the gut creates neurological issues. Autism can be cured by detoxifying the bellies of young children. People who think that feelings come from the heart are wrong. The gut is where you feel the loss of a loved one first. It's where you feel pain and a heavy bulk of your emotions. It's the central base of your entire immune system. If your gut is loaded with negative bacteria, it affects your mind. Your heart is the seat of your conscience. If your mind is corrupted, it affects your conscience. The heart is the Sun. The gut is the Moon. The pineal gland is Neptune and your brain and nervous system (5 senses) are Mercury. What affects the moon or sun affects the entire universe within. So, if you poison the gut, it affects your entire nervous system, your sense of reasoning and your senses.
Suzy Kassem