Showing posts from March, 2012

Writing In A City That’s Collapsing

  T he PEN Atlas is your gateway to a world of literature.   Every Thursday, we post literary despatches from around the world, showcasing the very best international writers.  We hope to bring new insights into the rich literary landscape that may be found beyond the English language. All content is commissioned and edited by Tasja Dorkofikis , who will be inviting a wide range of contributors from around the world about to give their views on contemporary and emerging literature.  If you would like to pitch or reprint an article then please get in touch . English PEN Launches the PEN Atlas with this piece by Athens based writer Gazmend Kapllani. What does an author do in a city that is collapsing? Like all the other non-authors, he tries not to collapse. He hopes that the worst is over, and yet he fears that perhaps the worst is yet to come. He observes the falling snow and for a moment he thinks about the homeless who have filled the streets of Athens. To them, snow mean

The homeland and its patriots

Leaving one country and choosing to live in another, as I have done, is both a painful and creative process. And after some years have passed, you find yourself in the position to draw some conclusions about “life lessons.” One such lesson is that man’s greatest virtue has nothing to do with the purity of his bloodline, but with his ability to create and to change. Another lesson is that our true homeland is not marked in our genes, but in our hearts and minds. A true homeland is one which offers its people respect and opportunities. Living in two countries and between two languages, I can affirm that the people I’ve met who truly loved their country did not often say the word “homeland,” nor did they maniacally shout that they are “patriots,” and neither did they lecture about hating others. For those who equate love of country with hatred towards others, history shows that this constitutes certain catastrophe – mainly for their homeland. People who truly love their homeland are not