Friday, June 09, 2006

Words of Deep Sadness

I've been reading from "Sophie's Choice" by William Styron, and can honestly say it's the best book I've read in some time. I can only read for a bit at a time, so it's a slow go of reading, but I came across a passage I felt I had to post. To me it underlines the importance of standing up for what is right and call for something that is wrong to be brought to a halt.

"One of the things I cannot grasp, though I have often written about them, to get them into some kind of bearable perspective," Steiner writes, "is the time relation." Steiner has just qouted descriptions of the brutal deaths of two Jews at the Treblinka extermination camp. "Precisely at the same hour in which Mehring and Langner were being done to death, the overwhelming plurality of human beings, two miles away on the Polish farms, five thousand miles away in New York, were sleeping or wating or going to a film or making love or worrying about the dentist. This is where my imagination balks. The two orders of simultaneous experience are so different, so irreconcilable to any common norm of human values, their coexistance is so hideous a paradox - Treblinka is both because some men have built it and almost all other men let it be - that I puzzle over time. Are there, as science fiction and Gnostic speculation imply, different species of time in the same world, 'good time' and enveloping folds of inhuman time, in which men fall into the slow hands of the living damnation?"

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