Wednesday, December 21, 2011

More on writers taking risks and a short story

 The other day I wrote about the fact that writers need to take risks when they write and, on that same day, I finished reading a short story by Ivan Klima from "A Literary Christmas", an anthology by Lilly Golden. The name of the story is "A Christmas Conspiracy tale".
  In this story, the narrator, Ivan, is a writer who is coaxed into selling carp and cheating his customers to make extra money. The main character lives in a society where cheating is the rule, even politicians do it. Honest people are the ones who are ostracized and can end up in prison for nothing.( Paradoxically, they are the ones considered the conspirators and jailed). In the end, the swindle does not work out well for Ivan.
  The meaning or epiphany of this interesting story is that in societies where rules are disregarded, honest people sometimes are influenced by the system, but, not surprisingly, Ivan is a misfit among the conspirators. He does not feel like one of them and ends up being betrayed by them.
    The story shines with social criticism. Ivan Klime was born In Czechoslovakia. In 1941 he and his family were sent to a concentration camp  after the invasion of his country by Germans in 1938. He was released in 1945 but he lost his family during the ordeal. Later in life, he had to endure the oppression of corruption in communist Czechoslovakia. I believe this story reflects on that. Ivan Klima's work was banned there for dealing with inconvenient truths.
  Here is an interesting interview done by the BBC to  Ivan Klima. I learned a lot from it and I look forward to reading more by him.


  1. I would say that I wonder what it would be like to live in a world where those who lie, cheat and steal and the ones making it big while those who are honest suffer...but...why be redundant when I have a little bit of a clue.

  2. Yes, Angela. It is not an easy subject. I believe any place can be vulnerable to become like that. That is why I love literature. Because it dares to say what others may try to ignore.

  3. You have to admire writers who take on controversial subjects in their writing. You gotta be strong to withstand the firestorm that might come from telling the truth.

    Enjoy the holiday season and thanks for being such a wonderful friend and supporter!

  4. Thank you J.L. Campbell. I agree with you and I do admire Ivan Klima for what he had to endure and for daring to write about honesty and freedom. Happy holidays.


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