Gabriel Orgrease’s Comments

I believe that everything that is written is a fiction. There is no such creature as nonfiction, only a mirage that we tend to agree is the truth of fact, and yet it is only a tentative agreement and one that works, in any scale of historic time, very briefly to point us to look to the world.

In an instant everything is different.

Once something has been written, it is all changed and never the same. Yet it is true that there are large gaps of life missing from our past and that a few of us may recall having been present—as if there were 15 million people and then there were none (picking a randomly quoted number often associated with Stalin). I doubt, though, that any of us actually knows 15 million people. Therefore, the fact can easily become for us a statistic, information that we do not have a strong feeling for.

Imagine 15 million screams.

The two versions of my Chernobyl story provide two perspectives, I hope, one being a personal and emotional evocation and the other being a more-or-less prosaic rendition of background story. Neither is adequate—I mean, I am left feeling less than adequate in representing such an encompassing story as Chernobyl; in fact, the story is not even about Chernobyl so much as it is about the edge between our being alive and our being dead.

 

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