Sunday, July 02, 2017

A year almost to this day, I read a book called Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind. Of all the books I have read in recent times, and indeed over a longer stretch of time, I think this is the one that has impressed me the most, so much so that I thought it would be worth re-reading. Well, one year down the line and at the second time of asking, it's almost as though I have never read it. Along with a host of other books, it has been completely erased from what is still referred to in polite circles. How can a work of such brilliance leave so little trace? More to the point, what does medical science intend to do about it?

I have also read, or am in the process of reading, illuminating, harrowing or haunting books like Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow; Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning; Under A Cruel Star: Life in Prague 1941-1968; Bloodlands: Europe between Hitler and Stalin; The Battle for Spain: The Spanish Civil War 1936-1939; Ardennes 1944: Hitler's Last Gamble; Paris After The Liberation: 1944-1949, together with a host of other books, including National Geographic Guidebooks to Turkey and India. Again, I really need not have bothered for all that I can remember of them.

I don't know what it is, but whereas in the past I could read countless accounts of atrocities  and horrors without completely losing my sense of perspective, I find that nowadays I am completely thrown off my stride. I never thought i would write these words but I think that, next time round, I would be a pacifist.

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