The Storykeeper: A Conversation with Svetlana Alexievich

Los Angeles Review of Books

via Los Angeles Review of Books:

I think that war is a measure of human horror. It is the biggest kind of horror that humanity can experience. For example, what’s happening in Ukraine today is an incredible force working upon us. In the first months when I started to write my book about Chornobyl, I realized that I was limited within this frame. People began to fear water, to fear sitting on the ground, to fear giving flowers as gifts. They feared everything, but primarily the earth. Death was all around. Death was no longer unfamiliar. Then I understood that all our previous knowledge about horror turned out to be weak, turned out to be from another life. We have already become caught in a transitional moment, a transition from one world to another, to the world of the future, this horrifying future where civilization and progress bring us war.