Sunday, March 24, 2013

As Meikhtila burns in Burma - I remember this - Alan Paton, forward to 1987 edition of Cry the Beloved Country -

Alan Paton's introductions to reprints of his novel "Cry the Beloved Country" about S. Africa -- a compilation - I bought my copy in 1996 when the movie came out.

-- From 1987 edition: Cry the Beloved Country, though it is a story about S. Africa, was not written in that country at all. It was begun in Trondheim, Norway and finished in San Francisco on Christmas Eve . . . Maxwell Perkins, sr. editor of Scribners, accepted it at once --

Perkins said, one of the most important characters in the story is the land itself -- "

Paton said, this passage in the book is where the title comes from --

Cry, the beloved country for the unborn child that is the inheritor of our fear. Let him not love the earth too deeply. Let him not laugh too gladly when the water runs through his fingers, nor stand too silent when the setting sun makes red the veld with fire. Let him not be too moved when the birds of his land are singing, nor give too much of his heart to a mountain or a valley. For fear will rob him of all if he gives too much.

Alan Paton, Natal S. Africa.

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