From the well (J’accuse)

If we are afraid of opinions that are not all the rage,

if what other people think scares us,
if we don’t have the courage to defend what we love,
if we prefer hypocrisy to courage,
silence to discussion, good manners to sincerity,
if we prefer censorship to truth

Then let’s not talk about literature:
if literature is dead,
it died thanks also to our cowardice
it died thanks also to our indifference
it died thanks also to our intolerance, our
hypocrisy, our good manners
because literature has nothing to say to us
if we don’t know how to listen
nor will it have a chance to stay alive
if we are not able to propagate it.

And let’s stop crying over the past:
over authors like those from times gone by
who will never come back again
or, if they do, they will lie untouched
on shelves laden with dust;
and we will be the ones
who will have buried them
with our inane apathy.

 

 

Translation by Silvia Accorrà (edited by Ester Tossi)

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Heiko H. Caimi
Heiko H. Caimi, born in 1968, is a writer, screenwriter, poet and teacher of narrative writing. He collaborated as an author with the editors Mondadori, Tranchida, abrigliasciolta and others. He has taught writing courses at the Egea bookstore at the Bocconi University in Milan and several schools, libraries and associations in Italy and Switzerland. Since 2013 he has been the editorial director of the literary magazine Inkroci. He is among the founders and organizers of the itinerant literary review Libri in Movimento. His latest work is the novel “I predestinati” (“The Predestined”, Prospero, 2019).