Short Story Reads: The Lighthouse Keeper Of Aspinwall by Henryk Sienkiewicz

I do not know what to say emphatically about the much-imposed love for the country. To love human beings, trees, rivers, mountains, waterfalls, or a gentle evening breeze is more fulfilling. 
In comparison, the whole idea of patriotism seems manufactured. The way armies man borders and war makes killing acceptable and dying heroic, only proves that human beings are still possessed by fierce territorial blindness.
All other creatures on the planet kill in sheer instinct for food and survival, and are otherwise in harmony, what does that make us then?   
These thoughts surge in the wake of a poignant story I just finished reading. 
It concerns an old man, his life of misfortune, his search for solitude, the sea’s vastness, and the faraway aroma of the homeland.

The Lighthouse Keeper of Aspinwall (1881) is a story originally written in Polish and tells of another kind of longing, a desire associated with birthplace, geography, culture, people, and land. 
About the writer
Here’s a lesson in Polish names and a pronunciation exercise combined in one. The full name of the writer of this luminous story, Henryk Adam Aleksander Pius Sienkiewicz (1846 – 1916).
Conferred the 1905 Nobel Prize in Literature, the strong vigour of patriotism in Sienkiewicz’s works stems from his father’s family, who played a major role in the fight for Polish independence. The writer was so loved in Poland that funds were successfully raised to buy his family’s ancestral castle for him in 1900.    
Draped with the completeness and girth of a short story, an atmosphere that matches a novella for its fluid verbosity and reflection, here is the link to The Lighthouse Keeper of Aspinwall
Happy reading!

(Review by Snehith Kumbla)

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