[. . .] I believe in fiction and the power of stories because that way we speak in tongues. We are not silenced. All of us, when in deep trauma, find we hesitate, we stammer; there are long pauses in our speech. The thing is stuck. We get our language back through the language of others. We can turn to the poem. We can open the book. Somebody has been there for us and deep-dived the words.
There are so many things we can’t say, because they are too painful. Stories are compensatory. The world is unfair, unjust, unknowable, out of control. Mrs Winterson would have preferred it if I had been silent. I needed words because unhappy families are conspiracies of silence. The one who breaks the silence is never forgiven. He or she has to learn to forgive him or herself.”
Jeannette Winterson, Why Be Happy When You Can Be Normal
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