Elias Khoury on Writing

“Pragmatic politics has nothing to do with literature. If you ask me about a pragmatic solution, I think all this complication can be solved in two minutes. There are occupied territories, so just get out.”

“Literature speaks in many ways. It speaks to the present, of course, and to the future, if it is good literature. But literature is also a way for the writer to make a dialogue with the dead. This is the power of literature. It is not like religion: religion gives you the feeling that you are eternal. Here, there is no eternity at all, but it opens the possibility of dialoguing with the dead.”

“If you analyze Israeli literature, you will find that the Palestinian is not there. He is either dumb, or a mad Bedouin, or marginal, or a young boy. Until now, the Palestinian as a human being is not really there. It is difficult, I can understand, for the Israelis to see the Palestinian, because they are walking on his shadow.”

More from the interview with openDemocracy.