July 27, 2002

so, like, if we were going to move....

Say we're thinking of moving out of the U.S., you know, packing up the blogs and taking them with us, so to speak. Does anyone think they live in a really great place outside of the U.S.? And, is there a house for sale or rent near you? And why do you love where you live? What's it like there--what makes it special?

Because, really, I'm trying to figure out if it's the climate here in America, which seems to be growing ever more obnoxious, or if it's Atlanta proper that's getting unbearable, or if it's just that the world is ready to spin off its axis, in which case we won't bother packing but instead get into the bathtub and prepare for a bumpy landing.

Everything seems amiss. Nothing seems right. I just got Letters of Transit: Reflections on Exile, Identity, Language and Loss to add to the pile of books I want to read, not so much thinking of this displaced feeling I've had based on geography, but more based on rootlessness or something I haven't quite "got" yet.

But I will get it, and when I get it I'll blog about it, if I get it this decade. Anyway, here's a snippet of an editorial review to tell you what the book's about, which, since I've only read a very nice 5 pages worth, I can't tell you yet (though I CAN tell you it doesn't have the cool briefcase looking handle it appears to have--it's a paperback.) Nonetheless, it looks like a very promising read.

---->In these distinct and forthcoming original essays, five prominent writers offer their meditations on exile and memory. The authors represented in Aciman's (Out of Egypt: A Memoir, 1995) collection are a varied lota not atypical sampling of men and women who have found their way to the US from around the world: Aciman, an Alexandrian in exile via Paris; Eva Hoffman, a Pole in exile via Canada; Bharati Mukherjee, a Bengali in Berkeley; Edward Said, a Palestinian exile via Egypt; and Charles Simic, a Yugoslav exile of 1945 vintage. These voices of exile are unusually eloquent ones. All five authors are non-native speakers who write professionally in English. For them, the common duality and instability of exile are heightened by the very nature of their work. Aciman puts it well: ``their words . . . are the priceless buoys with which they try to stay afloat both as professional thinkers and human beings.'' <----

See, their WORDS are buoys that keep them afloat when they are exiled, homeless, rootless. Ring a bell? A poetry bell? A music bell? a blogging bell?

Anyway, it's really late, and I need to be sleeping, but instead I'm sitting in a relatively comfortable home with my nice laptop and air conditioning thinking somehow I've always been in exile from myself. Either that, or I've been living in the wrong places, places that don't quite feel like home.

So give a shout if you happen to know where home is.

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