The Essential Fictions

I turn to Babel for reassurance that literature is capable of showing the real and terrifying mayhem that results when national systems collapse, while still preserving some modicum of love for human beings. If I ever need my ear tuned, this is where I go. Babel is a particular master of that unnamed space between sentences; the place where, in my view, a piece’s real sensibility gets made: what does the writer omit, and how does he link his observations?