Monday, 9 November 2009

Thought for the day (not necessarily part of a series)

Today's thought comes from the collection of Georges Perec's occasional writings, Species of Spaces and Other Pieces (beautifully translated by John Sturrock). It's part three of a short piece called The Countryside.

Nostalgic (and false) alternative

To put down roots, to rediscover or fashion your roots, to carve the place that will be yours out of space, and build, plant, appropriate, millimetre by millimetre, your 'home': to belong completely in your village, knowing you're a true inhabitant of the Cévennes, or of Poitou.

Or else to own only the clothes you stand up in, to keep nothing, to live in hotels and change them frequently, and change towns, and change countries; to speak and read any one of four or five languages; to feel at home nowhere, but at ease almost everywhere.


John Self said...

Have you read the short story The Winter Journey from that volume? I have it in a little out-of-print Penguin Syrens edition. Only about 2,000 words but quite lovely. I wanted to reproduce it in its entirety on my blog but was unable to secure the rights. (I tried Penguin but they didn't have the electronic rights; I would have had to go to the original French publishers, a task beyond my schoolboy Francais.)

Charles Lambert said...

If I remember correctly, John, I originally bought the book because you'd mentioned The Winter Journey on your blog. Is that possible? I'd already read quite a lot of the contents in Italian translation, scattered over lots of little volumes, but it's good to have them all in one place (and in English...)