Thursday, 14 August 2008
I read almost everything that comes my way.
I used to search hard for books, but about ten years ago I gave that up. I buy books wherever I encounter them, but I rarely visit a book store anymore. All this caused a considerable change in my literal diet, but I don’t think that I read more or less good books then I did in the past.
Maybe I read different books than what I used to read, but even that is often not true: there is so much interesting stuff to read, you simply cannot miss it.
During our stay at Bakkum, I bought a pile of second hand books every day. Most of them I didn’t keep, and of the books that I show here, I will probably only keep ”A scrap of time”: a collection of short stories about the Nazi holocaust by the Polish author Ida Fink. The copy I have is an uncorrected proof of the English translation, and I don’t even know if the book has been officially published.
When I bought the book, I didn’t realise it were holocaust stories, I hoped it would be a book about Time. I find it very difficult to be confronted with the horrors that people do to each other. The last time I read a holocaust book was December last year, ”De bokswedstrijd” by Paul Steinberg, and that caused a minor depression that lasted a few weeks.
Somehow I could read the stories by Ida Fink without being overwhelmed by emotions. The stories are based on true experiences, but they are written down with a deep taste for the absurdness of it all. I am not going to into details, because the stories, no, the described events, are still ultimate horror.
Of course, there are more holocausts then the WW2-one. There are happening some at this very moment. I have no idea what to do with that fact. Today I spend a day out with sixteen people, of which some of them are friends. But even in such a safe and harmless situation, I am constantly aware of the tensions that many people feel and/or cause in others. And I have no idea what I can do about that. So, trying to change things on a larger scale is beyond my powers. I done even know if I should try and do anything about it.
There are enough records about the holocaust in my collection, but fear of being tasteless kept me from making a CD-compilation. Well, I am not really afraid of being accused of having no taste (I never claimed to have any in the first place), but I do am afraid that some people will enjoy such a compilation in ways that I don’t intend.
Most holocaust songs in my collection are indeed pretty tasteless. But there are exceptions. Like