Linguistic Policies

I think talent excuses a lot of things. Literary talent especially. For instance, I’m opposed to linguistic policies and governmental efforts artificially to preserve languages in many places (that will remain unnamed right now due to me not wanting a hassle at this point in my life.)

But I wholeheartedly support all of these things in the Basque Country. In the midst of extremely difficult circumstances that went on pretty much forever, this small bunch of speakers of a language that has almost no non-bilingual speakers created the kind of cultural production and the kind of literature that some 100-million-plus powerful monolingual nations have not.

If a language has the kind of literature written in it that we see in Saizarbitoria, Atxaga, Uribe, Zaldua, etc, then they are absolutely entitled to measure the size of letters on neon signs (which I’m not saying they even do.)

As I said before, my approach to separatism always operates on a case-by-case basis. If your artists are choosing to avoid the minority language because wee-wee, life is hard, and it’s hard to get published, then you can’t make a case that this culture is worth preserving.

And I don’t have a separate set of criteria for Ukraine, either. Now is the time for Ukrainians to decide if they choose their language and can create something major in it. Whatever they decide is up to them.


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