La Paz

Illustration by Alessandro Gottardo

I had two dreams last night. In the first dream I decided to purchase and read The Red & the Black by Stendhal. In the dream this was a political act. We were living in a dystopian, anti-Communist and illiterate society, in which all mentions of the word “red” had been banned by the Capitalist oligarchy. I think I might have cribbed this narrative from an NPR story I heard on some post-Soviet state like Azerbaijan or Belarus. I specifically remember in the dream holding the book in my hands, wondering what threat a 19th century bildungsroman could have against the state. I didn’t particularly feel like reading such a dry and antiquated tome and felt discouraged that my duties as a citizen would foist such responsibility on me. “Jesus Christ it’s not even about Communism,” I remember thinking before I cracked open the binding and began to read.

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