Tuesday, January 21, 2014

quality literature: dawn by elie wiesel

since reading "night" by elie wiesel, i have been haunted and consumed with a need to read his happy ending.  when i picked up "dawn," i mistakenly thought it would at least be a start in that direction.  i was so wrong.  "dawn" is a disturbing read.  the words are beautifully written, but i was stunned when it ended abruptly with such violence and emptiness.  it took me a few days to come to terms with this and to begin to make sense of it.  i intend to read "day," the final installment in this trilogy, but i think i will never find in his writings the happy ending that i was seeking for him.  the sad truth is that happy endings tend to make us forget and elie does not want us to forget.

i did, however, glimpse much of the meaning and purpose he has found in life through reading his nobel peace prize acceptance speech.  here are a couple excerpts that spoke to me, but i would highly recommend reading it in its entirety.

"And now the boy is turning to me. "Tell me," he asks, "what have you done with my future, what have you done with your life?" And I tell him that I have tried. That I have tried to keep memory alive, that I have tried to fight those who would forget. Because if we forget, we are guilty, we are accomplices."

"This is what I say to the young Jewish boy wondering what I have done with his years. It is in his name that I speak to you and that I express to you my deepest gratitude as one who has emerged from the Kingdom of Night. We know that every moment is a moment of grace, every hour an offering; not to share them would mean to betray them." 

1 comment:

  1. I found Night to be disturbing too---yet riveting at the same time. I did not know he had written the two you mentioned as follow-ups to it. I'll have to get them. I'm going to read his speech in it's entirety too. He really makes some good points---"if we forget, we are guilty..."