May 27, 2011

Dominique Strauss-Kahn: "Who would ever write a fable as obvious, as heavy-handed as the story we've just been given?"


At TomDispatch, the great Rebecca Solnit (Infinite City) dares to detail the creepy obviousness of the head-slap that is the Dominique Strauss-Kahn story, asking “Who would ever write a fable as obvious, as heavy-handed as the story we’ve just been given?”

How can I tell a story we already know too well? Her name was Africa. His was France. He colonized her, exploited her, silenced her, and even decades after it was supposed to have ended, still acted with a high hand in resolving her affairs in places like Côte d’Ivoire, a name she had been given because of her export products, not her own identity.

Her name was Asia. His was Europe. Her name was silence. His was power. Her name was poverty. His was wealth. Her name was Her, but what was hers? His name was His, and he presumed everything was his, including her, and he thought he could take her without asking and without consequences. It was a very old story, though its outcome had been changing a little in recent decades. And this time around the consequences are shaking a lot of foundations, all of which clearly needed shaking.


Dennis Johnson is the founder of MobyLives, and the co-founder and co-publisher of Melville House.