When it was a crime to pick up a bloodied body on the street, Haitian writers introduced Haitian readers to Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex and Antigone, which had been rewritten in Creole and placed in Haitian settings by the playwright Franck Fouche and the poet Felix Morisseau Leroy. This is where these writers placed their bets, striking a dangerous balance between silence and art.
How do writers and readers find each other under such dangerous circumstances? Reading, like writing, under these conditions is disobedience to a directive in which the reader, our Eve, already knows the possible consequences of eating that apple but takes a bold bite anyway.
How does that reader find the courage to take this bite, open that book? After an arrest, an execution? Of course he or she may find it in the power of the hushed chorus of other readers, but she can also find it in the writer’s courage in having stepped forward, in having written, or rewritten, in the first place.
Create dangerously, for people who read dangerously. This is what I’ve always thought it meant to be a writer.