The Oak and the Calf

"The one possibility that I tried to ignore was that the interview had been published in full and on time, taking up four pages in each of four newspapers with a total circulation of five million (in Japanese characters, it is true, but still...) and not had been noticed by a single person in the West! Every radio station in the world quoted Japanese reporters daily in connection with the cultural revoluition in China, so obviously their newspapers were monitored, yet no one had noticed my interview. Could this be because fame in this world in short lived, and the West had long ago got bored with What's-His-Name, that Russian writer, who had tickled their fancy for two whole weeks with a badly translated best seller about life in Stalin's concentration camps? That was no doubt part of it. Still, if in some out of the way spot in Polynesia or New Guinea, let's say, the most fugitive report had appeared that some Greek leftist had failed to find a publisher in Greece for one single paragraph of his work, we should have had Bertrand Russell and Jean-Paul Sartre and the Labor Left screaming bloody murder, expressing their lack of confidence in the British Prime Minister, hurling inprecations at the American President, and promptly convening an international conference to anathmetize the Greek butchers. Whereas if the process of smothering a Russian writer not quite extinguished under Stalin continued under the collective leadership, and if the end could be expected pretty soon, this did not insult their leftist creed: if people were stifled in the land of communism, that must be what progress demanded!"

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