Lands of Silence

By Nita Chicooree-Mercier

Life is not only about the sole pursuit of material comfort, and the reasons we cherish the works of artists, singers, writers, intellectuals and spiritual leaders is because we can relate to them. They respond to a deep human quest, a need to understand the purpose of life itself, to come to grips with the world around us, to appreciate the beauty of paintings and sculpture, and make us joyful with music and songs. Writers are not loners who live cloistered among books, and scribble notes randomly to build up strange characters who come to life in eccentric stories, just for the sake of entertaining readers.

Salman Rushdie. Pic – The Economic Times

Deeply committed writers are highly gifted to decipher and depict the ground realities in a country, the institutions, the society and people without compromising on the truth. Far from representing an individual expression, they are often the spokespersons of one country or many countries, the voice of the people, the embodiment of their expectations, their fears and hopes.

However free expression of thoughts and ideas in storytelling has gone through many ups and downs in modern history. Writers have thus had to have recourse to different techniques, allegories, satires, parodies to bypass censorship and convey their messages. Writing is just ‘art for art’s sake’, said Oscar Wilde, who in the early 20th century claimed to have no message at all. Yet he ended up in prison for being too outspoken on the issue of homosexuality. Before being awarded the Nobel Prize in the 1950s, William Golding had a short stay in prison for his novel ‘Lord of the Flies’, a story about innocent choir boys who get stranded on a remote island and turn into savage killers – one too shocking to English society. Read More… Become a Subscriber


Mauritius Times ePaper Friday 19 August 2022

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