“Nothing that has ever happened should be regarded as lost for history.” – Walter Benjamin (July 15, 1892 to September 27, 1940).
[Quoted by Rebecca Solnit in the frontspiece of Hope in the Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities (2004)].
Yesterday I read about Alice Walker and her work in resurrecting the life and work of Nora Zeale Hurston. Walker’s statement that “anything we love can be saved” led me to remember Solnit’s use of the quotation from Benjamin.
Are you discouraged these days? I believe it is legitimate and fair to be discouraged now – during difficult economic times, while the United States and allies are fighting two wars, in the face of environmental crises, and as sabers are rattled.
Still: if you yearn for a glimmer of hope and some positive analysis, read Hope in the Dark. Solnit’s book is a powerful discussion of positive acts by individuals or small groups of people rippling around the world through unexpected connections and in unexpected ways. Specifically, she discusses the successes of activists in the decades of the post World War II era.
Rebecca Solnit (born 1961) is an fine and passionate author, as well as a cultural historian and activist. I believe that she is one of the essential writers of our time.
I recommend Hope in the Dark highly.