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On Perspective

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Photo by Rikki Chan on Unsplash

*** I wrote this on Friday but forgot to post and then the weekend was insane because we have a new puppy! I'll post pictures and stories soon but for now, please pretend it's last Friday while you're reading it ;)

One of the books that had a fundamental impact on me as an adult is The Book Thief. It's a good book, and I highly recommend it, but it's not the writing that had left such a lasting impression on me.

I grew up in Israel, veritably surrounded by holocaust survivors. My paternal grandparents met on the train back from Russia (Siberia, really), where they'd been hiding during the war so they won't get sent to the camps with their families (who refused to run). I heard WWII horror stories all through my childhood. But, what I realised when I read The Book Thief was that these stories only came from one side. I never heard the stories about the Berlin Blitz. We never talked at school about the German citizens who weren't taking an active part in the war or the Nazi movement and were just trying to get by. When they told us at school stories about Germans who hid Jews, it was always from the Jews' perspective, never from the Germans'.

I read that book in 2015. That summer, my partner and I spent three days in Budapest, kids-free. That meant we got to go on tours and into museums that the kids wouldn't have enjoyed. One of those tours was to an underground bunker/hospital on the Buda side (under the castle). It was fascinating, and also opened my eyes to what "the other side" was doing during the war.

Since then, I've been especially interested in different people's perspective of the same events or of a certain topic. It kind of has to do with Point of View in storytelling, but not necessarily. I mean, when you tell a story you always tell it from the point of view of someone. As a writer, you need to decide who's perspective you want the reader to take. It depends on the story, I think.

I've been experimenting a little with all kinds of voices and points of view. The short story is an excellent platform for experimenting. I may post some of the really short ones here next week.


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