It was in 2002 when I first read this quote from Imre Kertesz in a newspaper. He had received the Nobel Prize and this quote accompanied his photo in the news report. Somehow it stayed with me. The idea is that identities, which are forced by society, define people’s lives more than anything else. The identities are permanent irrespective of who and what you chose to be. Everything else changes.
I am a non-believing Jew… Yet as a Jew I was taken to Auschwitz
And then there is the citation from the Nobel Committee. Arbitrariness indeed.
(Kertesz gets it) for writing that upholds the fragile experience of the individual against the barbaric arbitrariness of history