The books and authors I feature on this blog heading appeared in front of me the day I designed this blog.I remember the hullabaloo around Rushdie's publication of Satanic Verses. Now, if you a religious conservative, you probably did not pick up a copy and read it. Most people were upset about Rushdie's treatment of religion. Had he appeared around the time I attended catholic schools, his name would be anathema to me.
But, I read him in my mature years, and compared his situation to those of poor Galileo and Leonardo and the problems they had with the Church. Writers and artists and scientists have to wait years before anyone bothers to look carefully at their contributions.
In East, West, Mr Rushdie is more approachable. Less controversial. If you never questioned your own sensibilities, your point of view, your cultural biases, this book pricks you here and there.
Pirandello,- not known by many people either, though I found this collection written in English-questions our veracity, our very ability to speak the truth, as characters on a stage with an audience, as characters in our living room with our mate.
We construct reality as we speak, wearing masks with every situation.
I read Milan Kundera when I was young, and the story in The Umbearable Lightness of Being seemed to be talking to me, exposing me, stripping me down to the essence of what men and women feel. It was his message at the end, the motif throughout that I remember best: The burden of being human.
And then, Chomsky. If you want to know about communication, language, cognition, his works are germinal.
These are giants before us.
They are not alone. You have works and people who have provided you with knowledge and insights. Who are they?