Jun 192013

[T]he potential rigidity of the exilic posture may inhere not so much in a fixation on the past as in habitual detachment from the present. [T]his posture, if maintained too long, allows people to conceive of themselves as perpetually Other, and therefore unimplicated in the mundane, compromised, conflict-ridden locality that they inhabit; it allows them to imagine the sources and causes of predicaments as located outside, in a hostile or oppressive environment, rather than within. —Eva Hoffman in “The New Nomads”, in: Letters of Transit: Reflections on Exile, Identity, […] Continue reading >

Apr 232013

I had come here doing what all exiles do on impulse, which is to look for their homeland abroad, to bridge the things here to things there, to rewrite the present so as not to write off the past. I wanted to rescue things everywhere, as though by restoring them here I might restore them elsewhere as well. I wanted everything to remain the same. Because this too is typical of people ho have lost everything, including their roots or their ability to grow new ones. It is precisely […] Continue reading >

Mar 272013

[T]he change was not confined to economic matters. The whole American universe was different. Strangers, the immigrants could not locate themselves; they had lost the polestar that gave them their bearings. They would not regain an awareness of direction until they could visualize themselves in their new context, see a picture of the world as it appeared from this perspective. At home their eyes had taken in the whole of life, had brought to their perceptions a clearly defined view of the universe. Here the frame narrowed down, seemed […] Continue reading >