Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Pakhta Aral

I have started writing my paper for the cotton conference on 3-4, November 2005. As is standard for my writing pace, I will do a page a day until I get it done. Some days I might do more than a page. But, one page is the minimum quota. Since I am going to try and keep it short, about 20 pages and it is not due until mid-September I have plenty of time to write it and revise it before sending it off.

I don't write in the order the paper appears. I find it much easier to skip around, writing the part that interests me at the moment rather than try and fight writers block. As I result I almost always get my one page done in less than two hours no matter how lazy and uninspired I happen to be that day.

I got through three pages on the Karachais in the Pakhta Aral region tonight. Really chilling stuff. Of course all the exile settlements had severe food shortages and massive deaths, but some stick out. For the Karachais Pakhta Aral appears alot in the memoir literature as the deadliest region of banishment. It was a vast open air desert concentration camp almost completely devoid of food for the few men and many women and children confined there. The NKVD sent these people there to die solely on the basis of their ancestry. Whole families died out from hunger and malnutrition related diseases during the years 1943 to 1948. A great many Western academics still seek to minimize this crime compared to other crimes committed further west. The Muslim Karachais are a politically incorrect people. They are the wrong ethnicity and religion to deserve our collective sympathy. Likewise their killers lack the proper ethnicity and ideology to garner our collective condemnation. Undoubtely, Scottish trolls will attack me and call me names for pointing this out again. But, I still think there is something almost uniquely horrible in condemening people to starve to death. Even if they are Muslims and hence "unworthy victims."


Chris Conway said...

I like your writing technique. I also just put ideas to paper some times and then rearrange later. In my experience, most of the time writer's block seems to be the product of trying to write something I am not ready to write just yet. Lately, however, I've found myself having more success writing in a linear, start to finish mode. I hope it lasts-- that's certainly the way I used to wish to write but was never able to do it.

J. Otto Pohl said...

Thanks for the comment. Sometimes I can write in a linear mode. But, often I can not. I certainly can not do it for large projects. These I have to do modularly. I actually don't rearrange much with word procesing. I fill in sections at a time. In London I found people who tried to force themselves to write their dissertations in order usually took four or more years versus my two.