When discussing The Book of Will in class, I was shocked to find that there were relations between the play and the Rwandan Genocide. While watching the play it was difficult for me to try to connect a play about William Shakespeare to the genocide which leads to the death of every tenth person in the Rwandan population.
In the Book of Will, a major theme was the spreading of William Shakespeare’s plays to preserve the stories.
some themes that connect the Rwandan genocide and The Book of Will are the importance of the passage of time. Time will continue even as history continues and it can only be remembered through writing down the stories to spread them across different cultures and time periods.
The ending scene of the book of will was extremely powerful because all of the actors came onto the stage and began speaking Shakespeare quotes in different languages. This showed that the stories did have an impact around the world and it emphasized that spreading stories is effective and necessary for the spreading of ideas.
as time goes on in the book of will people die and their stories can only be passed on through those that knew them passing on their legacy. In terms of the Rwandan genocide it is impossible to spread every persons story, and this shows the extent of the killings. It still remains important to spread the stories, especially of the survivors who can recount the horrors that they experienced and even the experiences of their killed family members.
Like in Gourevitch’s writing, the stories are written down because the facts will always be a part of history but f the stories are not written down the will be forgotten. If the facts are the only things that remain we will lose our ability to fully understand the events and sympathies with the history.
When discussing the Book of Will briefly in class there were two questions that came up: who has the right to share/spread/collect these stories? and
how do we make sure we present the right version of these stories?
In terms of the question: who has the right to share/spread/collect these stories? I related this question to the message that I obtained from Sontag and Gourevitch.