Monday, January 29, 2007

Donald Richie On What Expats Are Seeking

From The Donald Richie Reader:

“They retain an illusion from childhood that there might be someplace into which they can finally sink to rest, some magic land, some golden age, some significantly other self. Yet his own oddness keeps the foreigner separate from every encounter. Unless he regards this as something fruitful, he cannot be considered cured.

“This is the great lesson of expatriation. In Japan, I sit on the lonely heights of my own peculiarities and gaze back at the flat plains of Ohio, whose quaint folkways no longer have any power over me. And then turn and gaze at the islands of Japan, whose folkways are equally powerless in that the folk insist I am no part of them. This I regard as the best seat in the house, because from here I can compare, and comparison is the first step toward understanding.”

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Anonymous Steve said...

Then again, to quote the immortal Buckaroo Banzai,
"Wherever you go, there you are."

1:25 AM  

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