1. Sense and Sensibility- Jane Austen.
2. Dew In The Morning- Shimmer Chinodya.
3. Fruits of the Spirit- Ron Hembree.
1. Sense and Sensibility- Jane Austen.
2. Dew In The Morning- Shimmer Chinodya.
3. Fruits of the Spirit- Ron Hembree.
Bright Simons of Imani Ghana and founder of the Ghana-based mPedigree Network wrote this on his Facebook page in June. I have been meaning to post this here ever since. So, here you go…
One of the lamentations one hears very often in Ghana is that we have too many dilettantes, all-knowing know-nothings, running amok all over the place, hopping from radio station to radio station, TV talkshow to TV talkshow, miseducating the masses with their weak understanding of technical issues, lack of discernible track record in any proper discipline or career, and general poor education.
Added to this worry is the concern that somehow ‘specialisation’ is on the decline, and that the country is flooded with ‘jacks-of-all-trades’ mumbling half-baked dross to a clueless media and an even more clueless population.
Though this is a widespread view, there is by no means only a single version of the view, even if the underlying sentiment is almost always the same. Another angle to it is that Ghana actually does have a decent number of very competent specialists in a significant range of disciplines, and that they have either been driven out of the public sphere by loud, quarrelsome, noisemakers, or that they are too wrapped up in their consultancies and careers to give a hoot about public debate, public education or civil discourse.
Whichever the version one prefers the point remains the same: Ghana is being miseducated and misinformed by generalists, and should either grow/develop more specialists and/or create more room for those already in the system to flourish. The point is perhaps even more poignant because it is a global one. Not too long ago the author Andrew Keen wrote the ‘Cult of the Amateur’, in which he forcefully decried the growth of a ‘culture of shallowness’ in the West, blameable in large part on social media, the internet, and a festering TIY (think-it-yourself) culture. He called for a return to greater depth.
This is a reasonable call, perhaps an urgent one. But we need to be careful of the nuances.
Firstly, while specialists remain critical to any true progress in any of the technical domains so vital to our development – engineering, medicine, accounting, crop science, animal husbandry, carpentry, and child psychology, to name a few, the challenge is that these domains nowadays express themselves within complex, multi-disciplinary, areas of action: infrastructure, health, agronomics, interior design, human development, etc.
The development of countries, and human progress in general, have, as processes, become MULTI-DISCIPLINARY. But, even more critically, they have also become INTER-DISCIPLINARY.
So rather than just the more familiar approach of, for example, mixing ‘medicine’, ‘epidemiology’, ‘psychology’, biostatistics, bioinformatics, etc to create a broader super-discipline called ‘public health’ to cover connected fields of knowledge, we are now seeing more complex combinations in the attempt to tackle some rather amorphous challenges. For instance, we are witnessing more and more the attempt to develop experts in such areas such as ‘military ethics’, ‘human security’ and ‘health finance’. This can get rather curious rather quickly.
Would a hedge fund manager, whose investment vehicle specialises solely in acquiring equity in ‘health management organisations’, or an analyst for Moody’s (a rating agency) focussing on pension funds for health workers be regarded as ‘health finance experts’? Such an individual may know quite a lot about the intricacies of financing certain institutions or systems critical to healthcare delivery, but his or her actual specialty may be far from healthcare itself. Someone looking for a ‘healthcare financing expert’ may not think of either of these two people. Just as someone thinking about an ‘elections integrity expert’ is unlikely to think about a serialisation or document security expert, though in the current electoral dispute in Ghana, much hinges on security printing and document forensics.
But this is too easy.
Actually, the trickiest nuances concern the emergence of COMPLETELY NEW FIELDS OF KNOWLEDGE that leave everyone scrambling to determine which existing specialties will advance the new field the most. ‘Carbon market policy’ is an interesting area. It is far from clear whether environmental economists, geo-informatics experts, or industrial policy experts will make the grand breakthroughs needed to design the right frameworks for the optimal functioning of such markets. It may even well be entrepreneurs who are skilled in bringing together the right mixture of as yet indeterminate skills. But the truth is that we are in uncharted waters. It takes humility for experts of all shades to unlearn and relearn in order to apply the best skills in their repertoire, borrowing liberally from other disciplines as they chug along. And that is even assuming that ‘climate change marginalisers’, who tend to be political activists, rather than disciplinarian experts, are not the ones who will end laughing at everyone else who took the subject too seriously.
It is all too easy to say that the answer is in ‘teams of specialists from multiple disciplines’ working to a common objective. Quite often generalists are critical in thinking across the ‘lines of difference’ astride these multiple disciplines and are essential in multi-disciplinary teams. Entrepreneurs and visionaries are good examples of the generalists conceiving the new reality THAT THEN DEMANDS the precise mix of specialists required.
The second point is that history is replete with specialists missing big breakthroughs in their own spheres of knowledge application because they often think too deep but not broad enough. That is, they fail to appreciate the full implications a broadening line of inquiry could have on their limited focus. Why did it have to take Henry Ford to create the modern automobile industry? Or Thomas Edison to create the modern electrical grid? What were the experts in the great citadels of learning in Berlin, Munich and Boston doing? Busy drilling down perhaps.
Indeed, historically, the ‘public intellectual’ was a man of many parts. Even when not actual polymaths, they often showed a breadth of interest rarely encountered today. Imhotep, the Ancient Egyptian royal Advisor, was an Architect, engineer, physician, and religious maven. Isaac Newton was both a theologian and a physicist. Benjamin Franklin was both an optician and a literary genius. Paul Robeson, the African American musician, was also an athlete and a lawyer. In our own time, Ray Kurzweil has proved adept at philosophy, musicology, artificial intelligence, and computer optics.
And at any rate, can a society break-through a long-standing problem that has defied generations of specialists without the disruptive input of visionaries of a generalist persuasion? Without, for instance, people who can perceive the connections across anthropology, heuristics, psychology, software development, neuroscience, and hieroglyphics as they think through the best kind of interfaces for making natural language processing more accessible to the masses, or social media websites more friendly to illiterate farmers in Kete Krakyi who have never seen a clock in their lives?
Very often, a complex knot in one discipline is unravelled because someone saw an uncanny resemblance to a model in a distant discipline, such as the eureka moment that is sparked when an origami enthuasist sees a genetic nano-structure under the electron microscope that seems to unfurl from the world of her other passion.
Lastly, there are more late bloomers than we may think: people who take quite a while before narrowing down on a subject worth their passion. These people may throw themselves into multiple disciplines, even make seminal advances in these fields, before settling on the one grand choice, if they ever settle at all. A society that frowns on dilettantes of this sort will simply stifle the creativity of many of its best minds. Imagine if Leonardo da Vinci had been compelled to stick only to mechanical flying objects – no Mona Lisa. Or if Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah had been confined to theology, because that is the academic discipline that occupied him most intensely – no Conscienscism.
Specialists are important. But so are generalists. As Chinua Achebe once said, ‘in a great man’s house, no matter what drums are played, there is always someone to dance to the music.” Any call for a provincial, narrow-minded, population would be an attempt to drive people from the reality of a complex world in which we will soon need to make laws to mediate between machines that can think, regenerate and perhaps even learn to be autonomous, and ordinary humans.
The ‘lawyers’, ‘politicians’, ‘economists’ etc. needed in such a society need to be more than merely ‘cybernetic law specialists’ and ‘sentient warfare policy experts’. They need to be able to draw on the history of slavery, the Foucauldian sociology of power, Asimovian-Turing model of agency, and novel psychological concepts of Personhood, not to talk of completely different techniques of forensic engineering and crime science.
Simply put, it would be a call to deny the growing complexity of a post-industrial world, in which the intense specialisation justified by the industrial revolution no longer provide a complete rationale for how to educate and keep a new kind of professional fulfilled in a professional career. And in a fast globalising world, there is little point in saying our problems here are much narrower. In fact, they are even more unwieldy since we often need to translate other people’s breakthroughs into our own unique environment, a process that requires insights not just into multiple disciplines, but also into multiple cultures.
The real problem we need to grapple with in Ghana is that of mediocre specialists and even more mediocre generalists. If the Jacks-of-all-trades appear not to be adding any value, or appear incapable of illuminating the gaps between seemingly divergent fields of knowledge and inquiry, it is only because the specialists – the town planners, utility engineers, public finance bureaucrats, criminal justice professionals, and meteorologists, to name a few, – are in the same boat with them, clueless. How can generalists assist in the inter-disciplinary process when there is little by way of advances in the specialist domains to combine and re-combine? And let us not kid ourselves, we have the biggest university population we have ever had in our history, all of whom are presumably being instructed in various specialties. If the output seems somewhat bland, then it is bland all the way through, generalist or specialist.
I must repeat: the problem with the intellectual climate in Ghana is mediocrity, not generalism.
—- Me, Loyal Constituent, Facebook South
“One of the distinguishing traits of the intellectual is, to varying extents, that he or she is a generalist, at home with all manner of subject matter: Moynihan had thoughts about American inner cities, Cold War alliances, and everything in between.”
—- Marc Tracy, Writer, The New Republic
I, too, have been acquainted with solitude
She has pulled me jealously
out of suffocating crowds
And fed me with the savouries of reflection
I, too, have been acquainted with solitude
And I know her voice
when she sings out to me
That whisper, in itself the sound of silence
Loudly resounds in my mind’s ear
And like a jaywalker,
I saunter into her courts with delight.
She opens her arms of reminiscence and daydreams.
And I obligingly fall into them with closed eyes
My mind opens its mouth and swallows
delectable ideas from her million golden spoons.
As my cogitations leave pleasant marks
As they turn me into a full man
They remind me, that like men of old
I, too, have been acquainted with solitude.
Sarah Evans Talking About Online Civility
Mark Schaefer Talks About Why People Might Bully Others Online
I am one of many, who hold the view that social media is globally more congenial to the youth than older folk. This means I am in agreement with perhaps two-thirds of people on social media. In Ghanaian social media circles, this is no different, I believe. The kids of Ghana’s 1990s and early 2000s, on social media, live as a newly independent nation rather than a traditional protectorate our elders might find ideal. This current state of affairs accounts for the many dimensions in the formation of a new and developing Ghanaian social media society. Many traditional values are being dropped off on the sidewalk, as the trek from real life interactions to virtual ones keeps attracting younger migrants.
We are seeing today’s Ghanaian youth address their older country men and women in ways radically different from how they would, decades ago and even now, if there were face-to-face encounters between the two groups. The ‘yes sir’, ‘yes madam’, ‘yes please’ we are used to hearing in youth-elder interactions, is very much absent on social media.
We easily tag persons older than ourselves in a tweet or status update and pose questions with an air of audacity foreign to the traditional virtues of respect we have been brought up to believe in and uphold. Very often, we overstep the obscure lines of propriety on social media to vilify and outrightly insult older folk. This kind of toxic talk is steadily becoming ubiquitous and many politicians, public officials’ and statesmen’s Facebook walls and Twitter mentions flow with such barrages. There are a couple of very glaring reasons why this is happening and in such a manner.
No internet savvy person needs telling that Facebook and Twitter are atypical societies. These social media sites patronized by Ghanaians were not created by Ghanaians, to begin with. The patronage is global, but there is little way around the fact that they largely embody the cultural contexts out of which they were created. In the case of Facebook and Twitter, western societies make up these contexts. Most traditional Ghanaian values are thus easily anachronistic and quite ill-suited to such social media sites. Virtual as they remain, real-life methods of ensuring unbridled adherence to local values or norms play little or no role on these sites. The best scolding you can give anyone on social media is to block them or unfriend them. Strong words throw very few punches in a tweet, comment or wall post and woefully fail as a form of deterrence. Also bordering on sheer silliness is an attempt to evoke respect by typing anything close to ‘You are a disgrace to your parents!’
On social media, everyone is simply a peer. Apparent hierarchical systems come about due to a user’s quantity and circle of friends, number of followers and so forth. One’s crowd usually determines his clout, that is. At the most basic level, nobody embodies an authority absolutely deserving clearly laid-down ways of showing respect. Every other user has Sir, Boss, General, Professor, Honourable somewhere in their username. Ages stated on profiles don’t help either- I still recall seeing profiles of people which suggest they should be well over one-hundred years! But of course I know most of them personally enough to realize their social media ages do not correspond to their real ages.
When it comes to sensitive topics such as morality and politics in Ghanaian social media circles, swords are drawn with total disregard for the opponent’s stage of life. No boy awaits that glorious call to the table of men; He simply finds a seat and joins the debate. Often, the show of passion by contributors to the discussion absolutely overrides any show of respect. Young opinionated Ghanaians are well aware that no experienced elder on Facebook or Twitter wastes character space giving a virtual reprimand for sentences sans ‘please’ or ‘I’m sorry’. What appears to be the maxim then for young Ghanaians in such virtual battles is the hoary ‘You are either for me or against me’ or the more colloquial ‘Make I talk ma mind’. Social media discussions on such topics find age-gaps thoroughly inconsequential.
Ghanaian social media circles are a haven for the youth. Any Ghanaian elder clinging to some traditional dictates of respect and demanding it from younger users, is in the wrong place. It’s akin to showing up at a high school party gone wild and expecting the shorts to be pulled up, the skirts to be longer, and less smooching just because you, Mr. I’m-older-than-you-lot is around. As a Ghanaian youth, I admit that typed words cannot accurately portray our level of respect for our older countrymen and women. On social media however, they seem to have even less potency to do this. For some odd reason, words, on social media platforms, have a very uptight way of arranging themselves with no care for who they are being addressed to and how. Regardless of this, some of us may yet find other avenues to demonstrate our conscientious retention of the traditional virtues of respect.
Early this month, news reached us from the scientific world that scientists can now see our dreams. In a fourth April publication of the journal Science by a team of Japanese scientists, the findings showed that science has progressed in getting an image of what we see in our dreams and determining what we’re dreaming about. Masako Tamaki, a neuroscientist at Brown University, together with her team was able to achieve this feat. From the news articles online, the method is quite understandable. Here’s a quote from the story by Livescience writer Tia Ghose:
Tamaki and her colleagues tracked brain activity using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) of three people as they were sleeping; the researchers woke up the trio every few minutes to have them describe their dreams. In total, the scientists collected about 200 visual images.
The researchers then tied the dream content that participants described in their waking moments to specific patterns in brain activity (as seen in the blood flow in fMRI scans) and had a computer model learn those signatures.
The computer model then analyzed each person’s dreams. The model was able to pick out the time when each person dreamed of specific objects based on their brain activity when they were awake.
Those findings showed the same brain regions are activated when people are awake as when they are actually having the associated dream.
I am very much skeptical about the importance ascribed to this discovery and I will state my views in another post. Taking all of this for granted however, I am highly intrigued at such news for two reasons.
In Descartes First Meditation, he points out a salient truth which leads him to a major argument for the veracity of mathematical and geometric truths. This is one aspect he touches on while he still deliberates on the nature of dreams. To quote him:
Nevertheless, it really must be admitted that things seen in sleep are, as it were, like painted images, which could have been produced only in the likeness of true things. Therefore at least these general things (eyes, head, hands, the whole body) are not imaginary things, but are true and exist.
Clearly, Descartes in 1639 realized the logic behind the particular scientific method being employed by Tamaki and her colleagues today. That is, things seen in sleep are in the likeness of true things or things that exist in the real world when we are awake and that connection can therefore be drawn. Tamaki may never have read Descartes and it does not seem to me that the recondite French philosopher can be accorded the honour of pioneering this thought. I just happen to find the parallels intriguing, especially since I have been tutoring philosophy freshmen on Descartes First and Second Meditations this semester.
Also enthralling, is the prospect of the technology for this science being able to retell our dreams, even if we forget them. Imagine that. On one hand, we won’t have to struggle to relay a dream, record it through some means and then replay it to ourselves. Once the technology is available to tell us exactly what we dreamt, we can cut through the red tape. Now, is there one significant part of human history where this has already taken place? Here’s a quote from the Bible in Daniel 2:26-28:
26 The king asked Daniel (also called Belteshazzar), “Are you able to tell me what I saw in my dream and interpret it?”
27 Daniel replied, “No wise man, enchanter, magician or diviner can explain to the king the mystery he has asked about, 28 but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries. He has shown King Nebuchadnezzar what will happen in days to come. Your dream and the visions that passed through your mind as you were lying in bed are these:
If you read further, you will come to see how Daniel narrates Nebuchadnezzar’s exact dream to him and goes on to interpret it. Wonderful stuff! And that’s putting it mildly.
Like I said earlier in this post, I will be expressing my doubts about this ‘breakthrough’ in another post. For now though, join me savour the links with Descartes and Daniel.
Diligent followers of the Ghanaian political atmosphere on Social Media should by this time be aware of the increasing number of posts directed at the current NDC government. Newbies need only take a cursory look to notice this trend. The occasional reminders of the evils of the NPP are easily drowned out by this plethora of disapproving comments at the decisions of the Mahama NDC. Every now and then, an objective poster comes along with the classic refutation for the references to NPP; that is: The bad examples of the past should not be beacons for the present or future. I have thrown in an update or two, and an occasional tweet on the current atmosphere but as far a thorough internet harangue at the government of the day goes, I am yet to garner inspiration. I believe the time is now very appropriate, for each of us to begin an examination of the effectiveness of our social media rants and our idealistic social media protests in Ghana.
In recent times, social media has been noted to give people a voice they have never had. Anyone can have unmentionable speech disorders and still be able to speak his or her mind on any and every issue. You can be extremely timorous in person and nobody will notice you cowering behind your bold posts. Social media is largely responsible for the sudden audacity to challenge any ‘oga at the top’ on his half-truths, misinformation and gross refusal to be educated. This offspring of the internet appears to be the most developed instrument for giving people a feeling that their views count. On social media platforms, protests are laid at the feet of the masses at the cheapest possible cost to the leaders of whatever ideology is in vogue, given the context. Any Kofi or Ama, can create a Twitter or Facebook account, post in their official names or anonymously, and gain followers in no time. The consensus then is that social media is the new face of democracy that has been a long time coming. However, this new found power on the finger tips of participators in Ghanaian democracy cannot be granted revolutionary accord.
Civilized and non-partisan political discussions on the Ghanaian social media terrain are relatively hard to find. Where they are initiated finally, there is a near unanimous agreement to find strategies to curb the perceived corruption and ineptness of politicos. One clear line of agreement is simply that something ought to be done over and above retweeting, or liking, or sharing, or commenting on issue-related posts and tweets. This ‘something’ presents the major diverging points on many platforms. There is one school of thought that sensibly relies on experience and observations of traditional and modern Ghanaian culture to conclude that few Ghanaians can walk their talk, much less their virtual talk. Another school holds firmly to the hope that some hybrid of the Arab Spring can be started in Ghana, albeit their hopes are built on much misinformation about the major fuelling factors of the Arab spring. The uncurbed exaggeration of the role of social media in the Arab Spring particularly characterizes these local hopes for protests. That notwithstanding, it is common knowledge that the success of any protest movement lies in its ability to stir individuals out of their comfortable and secure homes, offices and so forth, unto the streets with fists clenched at the government. This is precisely where social media in the Ghanaian context seems highly ineffective.
The Ghanaian has been justifiably described as cowardly and introverted at best and his unassertive disposition is seen by many to be at an all time high in recent times, following the blatant condemnable actions and inactions of men in authority. The palpable lack of urgency and discipline in carrying out duties to the nation is trumpeted daily on many unbiased and objective news platforms. Yet, our dear typical Ghanaman shakes his head in disappointment and then posts his disapproval on Facebook and Twitter. He observes and responds to the feedback he gets, sighs in resignation to fate and gets on with his life.
When the user is a more critical and is very much expressing his critique in lieu with the real facts on the ground, it is usually less abrasive. With delectable eloquence, the post gets a strong point across to discerning minds. The comments on such posts usually express shock at this new presentation of the facts behind the half-truths and lies, and an immediate admission of support for the strong point made. And that is all there usually is to it; a strong point made and understood. A strong point made and understood, virtually. There is no button to click, to push people off their latex foam mattresses unto the gardens at the presidential palace with placards at the ready.
When the post is abrasive and replete with invectives, any untrained eye will be convinced of the user’s willingness to step out this very instant to physically abuse some government official with insufficient security protocol. This phenomenon seems to be responsible for the belief currently bandied about that the 2013 Ghanaian is an extremely angry Ghanaian. If this is to be trusted, then we should perhaps be hoping on a Ghanaian Guy Fawkes to succeed in his bombing. I will however continue to bet in favour of the inertia to be expected from such ‘angry’ folks.
Admittedly, my words might come across as pessimistic and cynical at Ghana’s ubiquitous and self-appointed Facebook and Twitter movements for better governance and democracy. As typical Ghanaian common sense reminds me, I am now required to present my solutions to the handful of issues raised or forever hold my peace. All I have been seeking in fact is that we examine the effectiveness of our politically heterogeneous social media posts in our hope for a better Ghana. If you aver that yours is only to inform, then perhaps the implicit suggestion is that evil prevails when good men fail to act out their Facebook statuses and Twitter updates. Before you pick up that internet device to post on social media, ask yourself many questions. Do not let the least of these questions be: ‘SO WETIN I GO DO?’
While many people agree with the rationale behind this phrase, it is not uncommon to find a radical heaven-believer (particularly Christian) point out to you that this is not found in any Holy Book. I have been given dumb looks in the past as I attempted to invoke this phrase. This has been followed by “You know that’s not biblical, right?” The argument is that it flies in the face of God’s grace which does not require our works.
I don’t wish to argue whether it is indeed biblical that a helping-hand stretches out from heaven only when we have made attempts to help ourselves. I rather wish to produce a tale from Aesop’s fables which sums up any opinions I hold on the phrase. The preceding four lines of poetry are by Oliver Goldsmith.
Hercules and The Carter
Inactive wishes are but waste of time
And, without efforts, pray’rs themselves a crime:
Vain are their hopes who miracles expect,
And ask from heaven what themselves neglect.
As a clownish fellow was driving his Cart along a deep miry lane, the wheels stuck so fast in the clay, that the horses could not draw them out. Upon this, he fell a bawling and praying to Hercules to come and help him. Hercules looking down from a cloud, bid him not lie there, like an idle rascal as he was, but get up and whip his horses stoutly, and clap his shoulder to the wheel, adding, That this was the only way for him to obtain his assistance.
Prayers and wishes amount to nothing: We must put forth our own honest endeavors to obtain success on the assistance of heaven.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book by Shimmer Chinodya. This collection of short stories is excellently written and had me flipping pages amidst smiles and smirks and tiny emotional expressions. I encourage anyone who wants to read it to do so. “Can We Talk” is the title story and final story in the collection. It highlights a marriage in crisis and the coupling emotional prose is from the male perspective; a husband pouring his soul out in pain. Here’s a paragraph from the story I really enjoyed. Though it’s a story within the story, it highlights Shimmer Chinodya’s gift of story-telling.
Back to the graveyard story. It is said that some of the houses in Warren Park were built on old graves. So when the constructors had finished building, strange things started to happen. Stones were thrown at roofs in the night. Sometimes the occupants of the new houses woke up to find themselves sleeping on their beds outside the houses in the yard, surrounded by their belongings. And sometimes if you were walking on the street at night you would meet a tall man in a black suit who walked beside you, and if you greeted him he just grunted back at you. Then, when you got under the street light and you looked at him his eyes turned green, yes, green, and he turned back and vanished in the darkness.
Anyway, one night around nine o’clock I was driving out to Warren Park along the Bulawayo Road. A lady stopped me for a lift and she said she was going to Warren Park and I said OK. We started talking. Within minutes I had found out that she had dropped out of school in Form 3, had a three-year-old son, had worked for a few weeks in a grocer’s shop, and liked rumba music. As we turned from Bulawayo Road and approached Warren Park she asked me where I lived. I had had a few beers and was in a jovial mood. I pointed out to Warren Hills Cemetery and, without turning my head or batting an eye-lid I said, ‘My home is behind that wall. I died two years ago and was buried there. I occasionally come out when the moon is …’ Before I could finish my sentence, the lady started grappling frantically with the door handle. I was afraid she might fall out, so I swerved off the road and hit the brakes. The moment the car screeched to a halt she jumped out and sprinted towards the houses. I jumped out and shouted after her, ‘I’m not a ghost! I was only joking! You can come back!
Not once did she turn back. She ran on and disappeared into the streets. I slowly drove on to the night-club. I told the story to one or two people there. Later one night that same woman came up to where I was sitting and said, laughing, ‘So you are the ghost?’ And we became friends.
A confession from the book-groomed. This is just the way we are.
Originally posted on Where's The Fridge?:
“I spent my life folded between the pages of books. In the absence of human relationships I formed bonds with paper characters. I lived love and loss through stories threaded in history; I experienced adolescence by association. My world is one interwoven web of words, stringing limb to limb, bone to sinew, thoughts and images all together. I am a being comprised of letters, a character created by sentences, a figment of imagination formed through fiction.”
- Tahereh Mafi
I saw this quote on a friend’s profile page, and it struck me as familiar. I identify with the words of this person, though I had never heard of the name until this morning. This is how I grew up. These are my words, put more eloquently by another.
I grew up with the Pevensies and such, and made friends with Caspian’s line. I met Feanor, and was enamoured by his passion. I also mourned with Hurin, and fell in love with Estella. I hated Mr Farfrae, and wished God’s mercy on the old Mayor of Casterbridge. This is my life, and the words of English poets and novelists have shaped me, groomed me, and made me what I am today.