By Cynthia Ozick
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Nearly one may think them, as they entered the drawing-room wondering and thinking about, toying with the flaps of the wallpaper, asking, wouldn't it cling for much longer, while will it fall? Then easily brushing the partitions, they handed on musingly as though asking the crimson and yellow roses at the wallpaper whether or not they may fade, wondering (gendy, for there has been time at their disposal) the torn letters within the waste-paper basket, the plant life, the books, all of that have been open to them and asking, have been they allies? have been they enemies? How lengthy might they undergo? small pictures, each one of a room—but the topic of either (if such wavering tendrils of sensation will be termed a topic) is incorporeal, intuitional, deeply inside. A weight of sorrow inheres in Turgenev's heavy black bookcase; the feather-tap of the ephemeral touches Woolf's torn letters. And either scenes breathe out the only primordial cry: existence! existence! Life—the internal life—is no longer within the creation of tale traces by myself, or video clips may suffice. The micro-universe of the modem? by no means brain. the key voices within the marrow elude those multiplying high-tech implements that facilitate the unfold of knowledge. (High tech! Facilitate the unfold of data! The jargon of the wood leg, the wood tongue. ) The din in our heads, that relentless inward hum of fragility and wish and transcendence and dread—where, in an age of machines addressing crowds, and crowds mad for machines, can or not it's came upon? within the paintings of the unconventional; within the novel's infinity of plasticity and elasticity; in a flap of imaginary wallpaper. And nowhere else. the guideline of the Bus towards THE shut OF analyzing Lolita in Tehran, her but inspiriting memoir of existence lower than the ayatollahs, Azar Nafisi recounts the process an tried bloodbath. Twenty-one writers, participants of the Iranian writers' organization, were invited to wait a literary convention in Armenia. govt brokers in the beginning discouraged the journey, then seemed to relent. The lengthy bus trip had stretched good into the evening, with lots of the tourists asleep of their seats, whilst an alert passenger unexpectedly grew to become conscious that the motive force was once lacking and the bus used to be immobile: it have been deserted on the breaking point of a precipice. a person seized the wheel and swerved the automobile out of threat. because the dazed writers emerged, the safety forces who have been published on the web site beforehand—to "discover" the unlucky "accident"—sped ahead to arrest them. A plot to dispatch a whole cohort of intellectuals had long past awry. "The subsequent day," Nafisi writes, "the entire of Tehran had heard the news.... there have been many jokes approximately this incident. " because it happened—not in Tehran yet at domestic in ny, and a few time prior to coming upon Nafisi's despairing history—I had already encountered this type of jokes, in addition to of the specified passengers. within the autumn of 1999, in the course of an period of thaw within the Islamic Republic's unsparing regime, a gaggle of 4 Iranian writers used to be authorized to leave for brand spanking new York.