Suspend Your Disbelief

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Occupy… Your Bookshelf


occupy berlin

So you may have heard about this little thing happening on Wall Street (and in L.A., Boston, Phoenix, San Diego, Chicago, Cincinnati, Berlin, Paris–oh, just read the list here). What you may not know is that the Occupy Wall Street protestors have a library of their own. Reports GalleyCat:

As the Occupy Wall Street protest continues, the activists camped out in New York City have built an impressive library. Thanks to Library Thing, you can now explore the library online and watch it grow.

Currently, the makeshift library counts 390 books.

Well, that was on October 11–the library now stands at nearly 2,000 over 3,000 books. There’s lots of what you might expect from a protest movement: People Vs. Profits II: The United States And the World, by Victor Perlo; Why Not Socialism? by G.A. Cohen; and The Communist Manifesto. But there’s lots more too, from The Aeneid to Sexual Personae: Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson by Camille Paglia to all the Calvin and Hobbes books, including The Calvin and Hobbes Tenth Anniversary Book. (Although, okay, Calvin and Hobbes may be more attuned to the Occupy movement than we think.)

Occupy Knoxville

Several authors have personally come out in support of the Occupy movements, too. On October 19, Naomi Wolf was arrested during a protest in NYC. Author Lemony Snickett offers advice to the 1% in the form of “Thirteen Observations made by Lemony Snicket while watching Occupy Wall Street from a Discreet Distance“:

1. If you work hard, and become successful, it does not necessarily mean you are successful because you worked hard, just as if you are tall with long hair it doesn’t mean you would be a midget if you were bald. […]

4. People who say money doesn’t matter are like people who say cake doesn’t matter—it’s probably because they’ve already had a few slices.

5. There may not be a reason to share your cake. It is, after all, yours. You probably baked it yourself, in an oven of your own construction with ingredients you harvested yourself. It may be possible to keep your entire cake while explaining to any nearby hungry people just how reasonable you are.

Occupy Knoxville(Via.) And lots more writers have voiced their support on OccupyWriters.com, offering their reflections on the protests so far. Francine Prose, for instance, had this to say:

In Zuccotti Park I felt a kind of lightening of a weight, a lessening of the awful isolation and powerlessness of knowing we’re being lied to and robbed on a daily basis and that everyone knows it and keeps quiet and endures it; the terror of thinking that my own grandchildren will suffer for whatever has been paralyzing us until just now. I kept feeling these intense surges of emotion—until I saw a placard with a quote from Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself: “I am large, I contain multitudes.” And that was when I just lost it and stood there and wept.

Why are so many writers aligned with the Occupy movement? Maybe it’s just because writers tend to be well in the 99%–haha–but in alll seriousness, I think there’s a deep affinity between writers and protestors. Writers tend to be interested in the plight of the underdogs, in calling out unfairness, in speaking out even if that speech will be futile. What do you think? Why have writers around the world joined the Occupy movement?


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