Hamish McKenzie talks to Etgar Keret about the importance of art that’s upsetting, the limits of social media, and sensitivity readers
I loved this conversation!
So many nuggets! So many Hamish-isms!
And.... Mr. Keret unearthed the secret Substack writers:
"...... is my bunker. This is my attic. This is the place where I can go and hide."
I am an artist and many of my friends are artists. Most of us deal with reality very well. We hope that reality is enhanced, focused, or cherished through our work.
Good post thank you.
Within the holocaust we are now living through we have modes of expression - such as multimedia - we can use.
As warriors like Anne Frank had the tools she used, we too have our tools.
The real way out of totalitarianism is to use all of the tools at our disposal to the best of our ability.
I loved this thank you! For me art, mostly my writing, is a way of processing what I experience on this human journey and it helps me show up more fully to life ✨ I am so grateful for the tools, and what a gift your parents shared with you on imagination and also the heart!
In the memory of the 8 million that perished in tiny gas chambers with wooden doors.
What insightful perspectives. Thanks, D
wow! That made the hairs on my hand stand up! I want to read his voice.
Life is really just a prolonged grid search of some kind of Faustian Bargain. We all share in this search over countless generations. What is “getting it right” even mean anyway? Maybe we make it too difficult by straying beyond the borders of loving kindness to all beings too often, hence the bargain we have to face. Anyone willing to explore these ideas from such a home base should be applauded.
Other than the general shittiness of Substack signing someone up for their own newsletter just for downloading the app, I just wanted to comment on the fact that Mr Keret misunderstands the point of a sensitivity reader. A Sensitivity reader's job isn't to make sure that the book doesn't upset anybody. It's more to ensure that it doesn't upset people for no good reason. They are there to help us unpack our own unseen biases towards communities of which we are not a part.
When I was 8 years old, I told my mother a racist joke. I didn't do it to be racist. I did it because I didn't realize that it was racist. My mother explained at length why such a joke was inappropriate. That's what a sensitivity reader does.
If I wrote a novel about the son of two Holocaust survivors, I'm sure that Mr Keret would want it to not be filled with antisemetic tropes. I wouldn't want that either. Which is why, if I were going to undertake such a project, I would have a sensitivity reader review it to make sure that something didn't sneak by my awareness, something that I had absorbed from growing up in a culture of American Christianity. I'm still unlearning things. Probably will be my entire life.
When you are corrected on something, there are two ways of responding. You can accept the feedback, use it to learn and grow, and fix your mistakes. I'm not going to claim that it isn't difficult, that there isn't pain in the process. There is. Or you can double down, insist that you did nothing wrong, and blame the person correcting you for being too sensitive, too "woke."
Etgar Keret is always interesting. to know of his parents' ordeal & eventual triumph is to see something of his imaginative/intellectual/spiritual origin. what else is there to say? life is beautiful if it does not kill you.
More then any other of your interviews, this one was a genuine philosophical one and so enlightening. It made me think about my parents, Holoucast survivors as well, who were extremely generous with me and my way of life, but tried so hard to assimilate within the Israeli Zabarim community. Although they couldn't achieve it and remained always "the Holooucast survivors" they kept insisting rather then finding a path that will keep their individuality and get rid of the frustration. But, me, I learned so much from watching them striving and carrying their inferiority complex, I was determined to make my own path in this world by making it fulfilling and enjoyable for myself, no matter what the outside reaction was. Looking back on my life, reaching soon my 70th BD, I am proud of myself for my achievements and I'm certainly thankful to my parents for backing me up and giving me the strength to believe in myself. I succeeded in escaping the horrors of the Holoucast but I keep carrying them with me as a reminder of what one people can do to other people, it helps me maintain and cherish human values. Thank you so much for sharing your intimate experiences and your unique insights!
Good evening 🌝
I am a Journalist, film, and music producer. I am pleased to hear your thoughts and your different opinions of reality. Great! 🥰
It wasn't until the last sentence of the film before I remembered that I had read the story. The film made it something else, again. So fresh.
Now I absolutely need to see Everything, Everywhere, All At once.
When you say channeling creativity to the cracks, I am reminded of what Leonard Cohen says about cracks . . . "that's how the light gets in."
Quoting fromThe Overstory Richard Powers: "The best arguments in the world won't change a person's mind. The only thing that can do that is a good story."
Maybe I need to nominate you for a Pulitzer?
What a great conversation! Thank you!
I would love a transcript. The conceptual density is very high in this discussion. Well done!
Thank you to both Etgar & Hamish this was exactly the conversation I needed to marinate in my mind this evening.