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"Write to alleviate quarantine", by Juan Bta. Codina Bas

25 March 2020 - 15: 56

The confinement stimulates creativity and thought. A seclusion stimulates the imagination.

At this time you have to find alternatives to get through this period of quarantine and one of them is to write. We can write from personal journals to realistic or fantasy novels, some poem or personal reflections or compile jokes, songs, recipes or pastries, write letters to friends and the sick as has been said these days.

A sample of what I say are the numerous works written from prison or prisoners for one reason or another or in periods of confinement. I offer you a sample of these writings in case you feel like following the line of these characters.

The Latin poet Publio Ovidio Nasón suffered exile in the village of Tomi (in present-day Romania), and there he wrote (19 ad C.) some of the most beautiful verses in the history of literature, the verses of exile, contained in two plays: Tristia ("Tristes") and Ex Ponto ("Pontics").

Saint John the Evangelist wrote the Revelation on the island of Patmos being banished. Marco Polo was a prisoner (1298-1299) for leading an Italian galley against the enemy city and a prisoner writer also helped him write Marco Polo's travels.

El 'Decameron' It is a story that tells of the meeting of seven women and three men, all young and from a wealthy family who, to flee the plague that struck Florence and Europe in 1348, took refuge in a village on the outskirts of the city where, for 10 years (Hence the Greek title of the work), they were telling a story per person, of a theme proposed by one of them and chosen according to the turn that governed during the day.

El Quijote He was born in Algiers where Cervantes was held captive and Dostoevsky wrote several works while being in Siberia for five years. Shakespeare wrote King Lear and Macbeth confined by the plague.

Fifteenth-century writer Thomas Malory wrote from prison the first stories about the King Arthur, giving us a picture of this famous and legendary king.

Nicholas Machiavelli wrote El Príncipe when he was imprisoned in San Casciano, in 1513. Fray Luis de León made his notes to Of the names of Christ and even a tenth graffiti written on the walls of the cell in which he was confined between 1572 and 1576 is attributed to him.

Martin Luther King, in 1963 he was a prisoner and in the margins of the newspapers and on toilet paper he wrote The Charter from the Birminghan prison which was essential for the defense of civil rights.

The list gets big, but for sample it is enough. I was amazed to see the large amount of writings coming out from between the four walls of the cells. It will be necessary to see if as a result of this situation, people come out who discover their literary streak in this confinement, which, after all, is like what the writers I enumerate lived through.

Juan Bta. Codina Bas.

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