Tuesday, November 11, 2008
"I want to go in". Félicitations!
So, you have let your hair grow? Stylish, as You always are. Congrats, Atiq!
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"Soon they'll socialise the car industry," Mr HP commented this morning. He was puzzled, and slightly amused, too, I must admit. It is his birthday today, so into our bed he received coffee, newspaper and buns (proudly baked by me) with whipped cream.
While enjoying the warmest congratulations from Miss Funnybunny and me, with self-made cards and a poem (mine!) he was digging into the deep and crushing crisis of car industry in USA. (But good for the environment? Well, perhaps, if they build any alternative means of transportation. But that's what the big country is lacking at the moment.)
Then, just to make him laugh and forget the recession for a sec – an entrepreneur as he is (but in the hard business of literature, so he's not a car salesman!) – I told him the joke M.U. e-mailed me yesterday (THANKS again, dearest M!):
"One sunny day in 2009,
an old man sitting on a park bench opposite the White House, got up, crossed Pennsylvania Avenue and said to the U.S. Marine standing guard, 'I would like to go in and meet with President Bush.' The Marine replied, 'Sir, Mr. Bush is no longer president and no longer resides here.''Okay,' said the old man and walked away.
The following day, the same man walked over to the White House and said to the same Marine, 'I would like to go in and meet with President Bush.' The Marine replied, 'Sir, as I said yesterday, Mr. Bush is no longer president and no longer resides here.' 'Okay,' said the old man again and walked away.
The third day, the same man walked over to the White House and said to the very same Marine, 'I would like to go in and meet with President Bush.'
The Marine, understandably annoyed, looked at the man and replied, 'Sir, this is the third day in a row you have been here asking to speak to Mr. Bush. I've told you already that Mr. Bush is no longer the president and no longer resides here. Don't you understand?'
The old man said, 'Oh, I understand. I just love hearing it.'
The Marine snapped to attention, saluted, and said, 'See you tomorrow.'"
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And last but not least, I would like to congratulate the newest winner of the most valuable literature prize in France, Prix Goncourt: Atiq Rahimi!
Your books on Afganistan and the wars the nation has suffered from have made me a huge impression. I can hardly wait for the next one!
It was lovely to work with You years ago. The war fabricated by the CIA or George W. or whoever, against "the axis of evil" – one strong member of which was supposingly Afganistan – had just started and everywhere You had to comment on the desperate situation of the Afgans.
But yet, we did have a good time in Central Finland, partying until dawn with a bunch of literature maniacs. It was a literature happening in Urjala, in the nostalgic landscapes of the most important Finnish classics.
Félicitations, cher Atiq!
In an interview Rahimi comments on his book Earth and Ashes: "I wrote the novel in 1996, when the Taliban had just come to power. I thought, "Why? Why this violence? Why so much destruction?" During the Soviet war, there was a lot of vengeance, much catastrophe. The Taliban came from this catastrophe. It is important to know where this came from. Also, I wanted to show the three generations of Afghanistan. Dastaguir, the old man, represents Afghanistan's past, its traditions, its customs, its honor. This is the older generation. His son is the present, my generation. He works in a mine; he is the mujahideen generation, the chaos. Yassin, the grandson, is the future. He is deaf, handicapped by war. It is always true that communication between generations does not exist. My generation, the generation of Mujahideen and Communist, has no communication with the past or future."
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Happy Birthday to those of You who celebrate this very day: the twins Ode and Hannu, Antti V, and especially Petteri = 40 years!!!! Congrats for the degree to Ira!