writer’s role I

… is to highlight the contradictions which cannot yet be spoken. But also, sometimes, to leave behind history which needs to be left behind. “Could you show me how to remember nothing from the past?” Literature can help us consider what did not happen in the past, but might have. And someone told me this at an important moment in a conversation, and I can no longer remember who or where.

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Curious Doug

In the 1920s, a young British man named Aubrey Rudd went to live in Jamaica. Shortly, he moved to Cuba, where he married and had a son named Douglas. Douglas became a pilot who changed sides during the revolution. In 1961, during the Bay of Pigs, he flew a British Hawker Sea Fury plane for Castro. In 1964, however, he fell out with Castro. He was imprisoned. He escaped. He moved in with one of Castro’s ex-girlfriends, who managed to keep him out of prison. Douglas was not allowed to work, although he did receive a state salary. He stayed in Cuba until 1992. Castro’s brother, Raul, wanted to give him a medal for his role during the Bay of Pigs. But Douglas refused the medal. Instead, he went to the States. There, at a dinner party, he met another former pilot, an American who had also flown in the Bay of Pigs, but for the US government. There, Douglas had a heart attack and died.