IRINA PATKANIAN
Inspiration
To DA (6.15.2019)

re: Valeria Luiselli’s book Lost Children Archive. I’ve been thinking a lot of Susan Sontag questioning if what we feel when we see images of “faraway suffering,” “the pain of others” amounts to sympathy or empathy. "Compassion is an unstable emotion. It needs to be translated into action, or it withers… It is passivity that dulls feeling.” Maybe I appreciate LV’s book because she has inserted herself into the narrative not just as a character but also as an author creating it, turning her empathy into action, and letting her fictional self's children run away and meet “eternal" lost children.