Jesse Field's Reviews > Shakespeare's Kitchen

Shakespeare's Kitchen by Lore Segal
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Feb 17, 11

bookshelves: short-fiction, american, to-read

"Tomorrow evening the institute is holding a symposium....The theme," said the teacher, "is: 'should there be a statue of limitations on genocide?' With a wine and cheese reception."


I listened to "The Reverse Bug" as read by Jennifer Egan for the New Yorker Fiction Podcast. In this incredible story, Ilke teaches a classroom of immigrants who have all survived the 1940s, one way or another.

With amazing parts humor and sadness, Segal "makes manifest" (as Egan says) the impossibility of rationalizing genocide. Or if it's not impossible, then at least we have to learn that "pain feels the same" for all of us, and so Hiroshima and the Holocaust, and for that matter the Cultural Revolution and other genocides, are equal horrors. As Orestaiea teaches us, pain begets pain, crime begets crime.
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