Written by Mario Levi

Books… Good literature prompts one ask the necessary questions anyway. Considering this aspect of life, I come to the conclusion that we need literature more and more each day which influences people less and less.

Today everybody is in a hurry! We have to catch up with those who calls this an age of speed. Is this a reproach? Maybe. My generation had no concept of computer growing up, but we knew of typewriters. We also knew of fixed rotary telephones, accustomed to waiting for hours just to make a long-distance call on these telephones, homes without TV sets and with giant lamp radios, and writing letters to keep in touch… And living in Istanbul without bridges to connect the two sides … I might give more details. However this much suffices to demonstrate how life has changed.

Am I reproachful because of this drastic change? Maybe. I am certainly not feeling nostalgic and trying to express or share those feelings. I might come up with a poem on those days if I desired. But if they asked me if I would like to go back to those days, my answer would be “definitely not after what I have seen.” We have lived what we lived how we lived. We had no idea, and did what we could without thinking about today’s conveniences; more precisely we were unable to imagine these. What I would like to emphasize is not what this change evokes. To be honest, I am occupied with speed, speed of our day and its outcomes. I sometimes ask myself: where am I rushing to? Have you ever asked yourself this question? Or those around you? I tried but failed. No one would be in a state to pay attention to me in those moments… And I am not someone to meddle in other people’s lives. I thought people are entitled to live as they please and put it behind me, reserving my right to ask the question.

Where does this lead us?
I will not speak of isolation. Or denying the way life is. I will just ask the question that bothers me at times. Is slowness not a virtue as well? For instance speaking slowly, and clearly… To express better. Not immediately responding to what we hear, and knowing to wait a little… To listen better. A meal cooked slowly, not rushed. To savor the ingredients more. Walking instead of using a car to get from one point to another. To observe our environment better… How does this sound? You might say that you will make time for it in the future. What if you will not be able to?

Everyone has a journey of their own. As I said, it is not my intention to meddle.I just would like to share the questions I ask to myself as well. And an opportunity emerges here: Literature… Books… Good literature always prompts one to ask the necessary questions anyway. When I consider this aspect of life, I come to the conclusion that we need literature more and more which influences people less and less. Is it possible for a sentence, for a single sentence to provide us a with a perspective? It is difficult to answer this question but I cannot hide: believing in this possibility gives me hope.
And then there is questioning the raison d’etre of literature and prompting people to question that. Maybe what matters is asking these questions we have long forgotten in this age of speed and simply being able to ask, what do you think?

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Mario Levi

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