Syrian Notebooks by Jonathan Littell download in pdf, ePub, iPad
For those who lived through the short, obscure dream, and now trudge through the vertiginous nightmare, consolation is unintelligible. It evades meaning at all costs. For a few hours, pick this up and simply lend an ear.
The instinct for ordering, for analyzing, was one which washed over me in reading the account. Someday, it will have to come to an end. These questions, while relevant, strikes one as nonetheless beside the point.
As government forces encircle the city, Littell charts the first stirrings of the fundamentalist movement that would soon hijack the revolution. Previously he worked for the humanitarian agency, Action contre la faim, in Bosnia, Chechnya, Afghanistan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Inevitably, you too have breathed deep down to your gut, sharing your pain with an unquestionably friendly ear. This was a drawback for me, but it also gives the work an urgency and on-the-ground immediacy that is compelling.
He has edited but not expanded or polished the notes into a coherent story. As for them, they're only fighting to save their skin. Littell's notebooks were originally the raw material for the articles he wrote upon his return for the French daily Le Monde. Littell also shows how the West has failed Syrians.
The book is not a sugar-coated portrayal of the alternative offered by those leading the armed rebellion. His notes on what he saw on the ground speak directly of horrors that continue today in the ongoing civil war. Just as I want to offer consolations to a friend in pain, so too I wanted to adjust Syria to a brighter aperture in light of the black night just barely sampled by Syrian Notebooks. But suffering precludes metaphor.
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