Toni Morison i razotkrivanje američkog mita sreće

U nastavku sledi odlomak iz intervjua koji je američka spisateljica Toni Morison dala za magazin Interview. Odlomak – jedno od mnogobrojnih pitanja na koja je spisateljica odgovorila – odnosi se na razotkrivanje iluzije i pogrešne percepcije o američkoj kulturi pedesetih i šezdesetih godina 20. veka sa zaključkom da „Every nation teaches its children to love the nation. I understand that. But that doesn’t mean you can gloss over facts.“

BOLLEN: We have a tendency to romanticize the stability of the ’50s in the same way that we romanticize the upheaval of the ’60s. You’ve spoken out about how a certain consumer-friendly, drug-induced version of the ’60s has obscured the real social changes that occurred during that decade. Was Home your attempt to rewrite the ’50s away from the favored version?

MORRISON: Somebody was hiding something—and by somebody, I mean the narrative of the country, which was so aggressively happy. Postwar, everybody was making money, and the comedies were wonderful . . . And I kept thinking, That kind of insistence, there’s something fake about it. So I began to think about what it was like for me, my perception at that time, and then I began to realize that I didn’t know as much as I thought. The more one looks, the more that is revealed that’s not so complimentary. I guess every nation does it, but there’s an effort to clean up everything. It’s like a human life— “I want to think well of myself!” But that’s only possible when you recognize failings and the injuries that you’ve either caused or that have been caused to you. Then you can think well of yourself because you survived them, confronted them, dealt with them, whatever. But you can’t just leap into self-esteem. Every nation teaches its children to love the nation. I understand that. But that doesn’t mean you can gloss over facts. I was an editor in the school department of [publisher] L.W. Singer Co. for a year before I came to Random House. I edited 10th- to 12th-grade literature books. For Texas books, we were forbidden to say “Civil War” in the text. We had to write “war between the States.” And of course we had to take out all sorts of words that Whitman wrote. There were caveats, constantly, when you sold text-books to Texas. And they’re still doing it, just with religion. I understand they’ve taken the word slavery out and replaced it with something to do with trade . . .

Izvor: Interview Magazine

Slika: Edward Hopper, „Carolina Morning“, 1955.