As the capital of Denmark, Copenhagen attracts many international literary personalities. Few always have a strong message for the readers while others are rather bland. But when my friend told me that German author, Jenny Erpenbeck would be at the main library on 3rd March and would be interviewed by my favourite author and commentator, Carsten Jensen, I could not miss the chance. The day turned out to be great for me.
Jenny Erpenbeck’s latest novel is about the present refugee situation in Germany and Europe.
Her one hour exchange with Carsten was a revelation and a great message to the European masses.
Here are some of her golden words:
- If a conflict situation ever arose in Europe, it would not be because of refugees but our own sense of insecurity and aggression.
- While the present generation suffer from the lack of interaction with others but an experience of refugees should not be a problem because Europe has dealt with this before.
- We live with people around us with whom, we share only ethnicity but nothing else while we share many interests with someone, who comes from far away and do not look like us.
- Many refugees who have lived in Europe for many years but still feel that they have not arrived.
- Everybody loses something by moving to another place but then we gain something new- knowledge, relationship, friends.
- Things are often very complex and not so black and white but we need to go away from THEM versus US and move towards WE.
- Historical events shape our destiny. Many times, a tiny thing can be a turning point in our lives by making sense and giving importance to our lives. That should interest us all.
- We are more than our individual selves and memories are transmitted to the next generation, making it an eternal life.
- I wish that there were more writers and less politicians in this world. That might bring peace.