You cannot stop the birds of sorrow from flying overhead and crapping on your head, but you can stop them from nesting in your hair.
Lydia Davis, in inimitable style, consolidates the elements of reading, writing and travel in a short piece from her 1997 collection, Almost no Memory: Michel Butor says that to travel is to write, because to travel is to read. This can be developed further: To write is to travel, to write is to read, to […]
More translation – literary and the other, everyday kind – and more thoughts on being a foreigner: “Foreigners are, if you like, curable romantics” writes Alastair Reid. “The illusion they retain, perhaps left over from their mysterious childhood epiphanies, is that there might be a place – and a self – instantly recognisable, into which […]
Continuing my readings of Alastair Reid, while travelling in Chile, I find the following: “The fictions we make are ways of ordering and dominating the disorders of reality, even though they in no way change it. The ‘truth’ of a fiction is less important than its effectiveness; and since reality is shifting and changing, […]
“Anonymity is peculiarly appealing to a foreigner: he is always trying to live in a nowhere, in the complex of his present.” With this thought in mind I come to the end of re-reading Alastair Reid’s essay, and start on the next one, called ‘Other People’s Houses.’ Despite the fact that to the outside world, […]
Staying for any extended period of time in a country where one is obliged to speak a language other than one’s own inevitably results in reflection about core identity. Core identity, if there is such a thing, presumes that there is an ideal and comfortable state of mind, in which one is most fully at […]