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Writer explores politics of literature

first_imgIndian-born French writer Shumona Sinh discussed her novels and their relationship to the political and social environments of the countries in which she has lived and worked during a lecture Tuesday titled “Literature and Activism: The Challenges of Representing the Impoverished Immigrant Other” hosted by French and Francophone Studies and the Nanovic Institute for European Studies.“Any writing, poems or novels, when we are touched by a sentence or an image or a metaphor, the writer is putting something that was right under our eyes into a new light,” Sinha said.Sinha said she cares deeply about the topics on which her novels focus, so much so that she feels she must write about them.“For me, even if I wanted to write a very romantic novel, I am unable to,” Sinha said. “If I do not write about what I think, then I am being dishonest.“Think of a literary work as a big train. There are people getting off and going up and down; this is the human story. However, the thing that interests me is the engine, that is, the socio-political codes.”Sinha said she uses her writing instead of physical activism to affect people and initiate change.“I was in a political party that was a very restrictive organization,” she said. “I knew that if I joined something like that again, that it would crush me. Barriers would be placed around my work and I would be labeled as a certain kind of writer.“My work is with words. If there are two people that are touched by something that I have written, and they are able to think differently, then that’s not bad.”Sinha said she believes the private morals of individuals and the public morals of politics should be closely connected.“I am quite stubborn in that I have my value system,” she said. “For me, stealing is bad. Lying is bad. But in the same way, I understand the nature of today’s politics. However, if you start thinking as a citizen that everything is fake, that all politicians are liars, then there is nothing to hope for, nothing to depend on.”Graduate student Lauren LaMore said Sinha’s lecture prompted her to think about the correlations between literature and society and the possibility for words to generate actions.“It was very cool for me to hear a writer talk about how she engages in society and different issues through literature,” LaMore said. “I took away that even if you manage to reach one person, even for an hour, it could change their relationships and how they view the world, which means everything.”“This lecture is very much what Notre Dame tries to do,” she said. “They take a field of study and apply it and see how it can make a real difference.” Tags: French and Francophone Studies, lecture, literature, Nanovic Institute for European Studies, Romance Languages and Literatureslast_img read more

Barca stumble to draw at Sociedad after penalty protests

first_imgSAN SEBASTIAN, Spain (Reuters) – Barcelona lashed out at the referee after their six-game winning streak in all competitions came to a halt yesterday with a 2-2 La Liga draw at Real Sociedad, in which they conceded a penalty and had an appeal for a spot-kick turned down in added time.The draw leaves Barca still leading with 35 points from 16 games but Real Madrid, on 34, can take over at the top with a win at Valencia today, perfectly setting up a mouth-watering midweek clash between the two giants at the Camp Nou.Sociedad are fourth in the table on 28 points, three points behind third-placed Sevilla who play today. The hosts went ahead in the 12th minute with a Mikel Oyarzabal penalty but goals from Antoine Griezmann and Luis Suarez either side of halftime put Barca in front, only for Alexander Isak to level shortly after the hour mark.Both sides went looking for a winner in a frantic finale and Barcelona had a strong penalty shout waved away in stoppage time when Gerard Pique was tugged by defender Diego Llorente. The incident appeared to provide a stronger case for a penalty than when Barca’s Sergio Busquets was punished for grabbing Diego Llorente’s shirt early in the game.An aggrieved Busquets questioned why referee Javier Alberola Rojas was not instructed by the video assistant referee (VAR) to review the late incident involving Pique on the screen.ADVERTISEMENT“If you set the bar so low as in the first penalty then you have to give a lot of penalties. The VAR should have intervened in the last play, it’s a clear penalty against Pique,” he said.“I think the referee saw it but he didn’t want to award it. I don’t know why the VAR didn’t intervene. I’d like to hear an explanation but there won’t be one.” NO CELEBRATIONSpain international Oyarzabal sent Barca keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen the wrong way from the spot to give Sociedad the lead but Griezmann levelled in the 38th minute by scoring against the club where he began his career.The French forward, who entered Sociedad’s youth academy aged 13, opted against celebrating after nonchalantly scooping the ball over keeper Alex Remiro, to score, having been played in by Suarez in a sweeping counter-attack. Suarez put the Catalans ahead in the 49th minute, passing a lay-off from Lionel Messi into an empty net.But Sociedad levelled when Ter Stegen failed to properly punch away a cross from Nacho Monreal and Swedish youngster Isak pounced on the loose ball to smash it home from close range.“Both teams had their moments and their chances and either side could have scored a third goal,” said Griezmann. “It’s a shame we could only draw. We gave everything but now we have to learn, improve and focus on the Clasico. They made a very good start and we got our tactics wrong, but in the end we fixed it and we created chances to win the game.”last_img read more