Eighteen Paragraphs: An Essay of Death and Imagination
“Ceux qui vous font croire des absurdités, peuvent vous faire commettre des atrocities.” – Voltaire
This essay, Eighteen, is available at the fascinating zine Drunken Boat. The essay was a Finalist in the 2008 William Faulkner – William Wisdom Writing Competition.
EIGHTEEN: Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya is a partisan fighting against the Nazi invasion. She is captured near the Russian border. Shortly after, in January of 1942, her picture is shown on the front pages of Pravda, one of her breasts is lopped off, and she is about to be hanged. She is eighteen years old.
When Masabata Loate returns to her township in South Africa, after spending five years in prison as an anti-apartheid activist, she is surprised to find the political climate has changed. A mob sets upon her with pangas and she is cut to pieces.
During the Great Terror, Vassili Klementovitch Sidorov is arrested and accused of various counter-revolutionary activities. One of his faults is that he has accused Stalin of killing too many people. He is sentenced on July 16th, and executed August 3rd, 1938…
Suggested: read Eighteen while listening to Killing In The Name [Explicit] by Rage Against The Machine.
“Those who can make you believe absurdity, can make you commit atrocity.” – Voltaire
Update: Eight Are Charged With Chilean Singer’s 1973 Murder After Military Coup – NYTimes on Victor Jara