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A Mathematical Concept to Expand our Perception


You don't read Apeirogon so much as feel it—the particular tragedies are lived out in an ever-present moment of loss… Apeirogon is the kind of book that comes along only once in a generation. ~The Guardian

When I read the opening chapters of Apeirogon, there are 1001 in the book, reminiscent of the "ruse for life in the face of death," I realized this might be one of the most important and meaningful books I've ever read. Apeirogon is the true story of Bassam Aramin, a Palestinian and Rami Elhanan, an Israeli. Both men come together while grieving the loss of their daughters, Abir and Smadar. Bassam and Rami both join the Parents Circle, a Palestinian Israeli organization comprised of more than 600 families, all of whom have lost a close family member in the prolonged conflict. Joint activities have shown that the reconciliation between individuals and nations is possible, and it is this insight that they work on sharing with both sides of the conflict. Moreover, the PCFF has concluded that the process of reconciliation between nations is a prerequisite to achieving a sustainable peace. The Parents Circle is one of the Charter's Peace Partners.

Looking at the illustration of an apeirogon above you'll note that there are large spaces and seemingly infinitesimal spaces and that is how the book is presented. Some chapters being a sentence, a few being blank spaces affording the reader an opportunity to reflect, time and try to absorb what the longer more intense chapters offer. Colum McCann, the author of Apeirogon calls his novel a hybrid insofar as the writing shows both sides and neither, thus resembling the complex situation in the Middle East. Just like an apeirogon, representing an infinite number of sides, McCann offers to his readers the notion that this mathematical concept may well be a model for thinking about conflict that is too often reduced to entrenched and opposed positions and not to multiple possibilities.

We are so pleased to have Colum McCann as our guest author for our Global Read on August 25, 7 am Pacific Time. 

Please join us! Learn more and register here.

With warm regards,
Marilyn Turkovich

This message from Marilyn Turkovich, Executive Director of the Charter for Compassion, appears in our 08/22/2021 weekly newsletter. To sign up for our newsletter, scroll all the way down to the end of this page to get to the bottom menu, in the newsletter section enter your email address and click on subscribe. 

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