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It is not possible to unknow what you do know - the result of that is fanaticism.
But The Same Sea is set precisely in this Israel, which never makes it to the news headlines anywhere. It is a novel about everyday people far removed from fundamentalism, fanaticism nationalism, or militancy of any sort.
In my own sphere I did everything that could possibly be expected of a man who believes in the greatness of his people and who is filled with fanaticism for the greatness of his country, in order to bring about the victory of Adolf Hitler and the National Socialist movement.
The vast majority of Muslims living here are peaceful citizens. Unfortunately, however, we also see religious and political fanaticism among Muslim groups in Germany.
I think that fanaticism is terrific. As long as you don't have to live with it. Oh, yes, nobody should marry a writer.
In my midteens I went through a brief stage of religious fanaticism, but it was very much about just saying prayers and stuff like that, reciting rosaries and spending a lot of time on that kind of Catholic ritual.
If I've ever regretted anything, it was putting all my eggs in one basket, holing up and kneeling at the altar of literature, instead of going out and at least reviewing, running around and trying to write for magazines. That would've been the intelligent thing to do, but I didn't, and that was because of fanaticism.
Americans worry that Afghanistan has become a petri dish in which the germs of Islamic fanaticism are replicating - soon Afghans will be hijacking American planes and bombing embassies everywhere. And their fears are not necessarily unfounded. The Taliban are unemployed war veterans, ready and even eager to return to the battlefield.
William T. Vollmann
The distinction between reality and fiction in America seems like it is becoming really blurry. With its religious fanaticism, reality TV programs and fake news broadcasts being aired by the government, the States feel like they are entering the Dark Ages.
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