Why?

Questions:

What level of interest and what level of mental pain have I, if I see on TV that a mudslide in Chile has killed 17?
What level of interest and what level of mental pain have I if it happens half a mile from where I live?
What level of interest and what level of mental pain have I if one of the dead is my son/daughter/wife/mother?

Would I be happier if the only news reaching me was that with a direct meaning to and bearing on my own life and my own self-chosen interests; if all else going on in the world did not reach me? Am I only interested in the latter for the assuagement of my personal curiosity? And, by the by, the enrichment of the Rupert Murdochs and the employment of the massed battalions of the BBC, advertising industries etc?

Funny, the things you think of and the questions you ask yourself when you're writing a novel like The Book. Not so funny when you realise that these questions are the ones that, from the day we are born, we have been taught NOT to ask

'Ours not to reason why ...'

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