Wednesday, September 30, 2015


Patricia Grace’s novel Potiki introduces a fascinating perspective on homelands that we have not yet seen in this course. The novel also offers different takes on aspects of homelands that we have examined in previous weeks. One theme that becomes very apparent throughout the story is the importance of time to the Maori culture, and how their understanding of time differs from a traditional linear conceptualization of time. This difference in understanding is clearly evident in a discussion that takes place between Mr. Dolman and the members of the village that comes under threat from developers. Mr. Dolman perceives the villagers as being resentful for events that occurred in the past between the Maori and Europeans, even when they claim that they are worried about the present. “Blaming is a worthless exercise,” they state, because “[t]hat would really be looking back. It’s now we’re interested in. Now and from now on.” Mr. Dolman is perplexed, as he wonders, “[w]hy the concern with what’s gone? It’s all done with.” “What we value doesn’t change just because we look at ourselves and at the future,” they reply. “What we came from doesn’t change. It’s your jumping-off place that tells you where you’ll land. The past is the future” (Grace 94).  This exchange epitomizes the clash of culture that occurs in the novel. Mr. Dolman and the villagers experience great trouble when trying to communicate with each other, largely because Mr. Dolman and his “Dollarmen” lack a basic understanding of essential components of Maori culture such as their apprehension of time. For the Maori, where they come from and where they are going all contribute to their place in the world at the present. While Mr. Dolman’s grasps time as progressing linearly, from before, to during, to after, the Maori comprehend time as much more interconnected, with their pasts and their futures all contributing to the exact moment in time that they are experiencing right now. This concept also contributes to how the Maori define themselves. Their ancestry is very much a part of who they are, and is not just a memory in the past. For example, as Mary shows Toko the gathering house early in the novel and points out specific carvings throughout the building, she is able to point out both herself and Toko in the woodwork, and even caresses the wooden man as if he is her husband. Mary’s actions and words show how they believe that their ancestry continues on within them, and not only contributes to who they, but actually makes up who they are. This reinforces their belief that the past, present, and future are essentially synonymous. Grace sheds a great deal of light into Maori culture in her novel, and perhaps no aspect of their culture is more interesting than their understanding of time and its relationship to them all.

The Importance of Symbols

Symbols within a culture become especially important when that culture is forced to adapt to a new culture. For the Maori people, “Dollarmen” or industry from other countries come in and essentially take over their land. When the stench of factory stacks and greedy businesses take over the land the local culture and the ties to the land become less and less significant. Holding on to cultural symbols is one of the few ways to keep a culture around. Patricia Grace discusses through the many different short stories the unique symbols in Maori culture that even still today remain.
One significant symbol to the Maori people is the wharenui which is a kind of meeting house for the people and remains an important place where rituals take place. The building serves as an important building, not necessarily sacred, to the Maori. It is considered to be a central place for their community which is important especially when their land is threatened to be essentially overtaken by businesses and industry.
The language in Grace’s novel serves as another kind of symbol. For me, who has no experience with this culture, I felt somewhat connected to the character’s stories because children have a fresh perspective on everything. The way many of these characters look at the world is how I to am experiencing their world. A brand new, never- been- tainted-before lens of the Maori culture. Through the children’s and their relative’s perspective of the culture I am able to understand it. Especially the way Grace incorporates the language which teaches people not experienced with the culture how Maori people interact with one another.

Although only a few significant symbols like the community center and the language itself are presented in my blog post, there are many more in the novel. Grace used the symbols in a creative way which made me feel connected to the characters in a different way than I’ve experienced in other texts. 

The Prologue to Potiki as a Cultural Crash Course

The story of the master carver at the beginning of Potiki seems, upon the first reading, to be largely unrelated to the story as a whole. Besides the connection between the Tamihana family’s home and the final wood carving of the master, this story hardly ties in with the rest of the novel. And yet, Patricia Grace introduces us to this man before anyone else in the story, and so grants him a particular weight in the story that lies outside the plot itself. First of all, this prologue serves as an interesting introduction to Maori culture. Without some basic explanation of the culture, this novel would be incomprehensible, and Patricia Grace effectively conveys the people’s way of thinking in this chapter. For instance, stories play an important role in the traditions of the people and in the theme of the novel, and so Grace opens with a story steeped in tradition. We see the importance of community, as the carver is important because “when the carver dies, he leaves behind him a house for the people… he has given the people himself, and he has given the people his ancestors and their own” (8). His legacy is his contribution to others, and he is remembered for his service to the community. We also see hints of the ancestral nature of the culture, and the emphasis placed on family and home. A respect for nature is also conveyed in this prologue, as it is explained that “the man is [not] master of the tree… He is master only of the skills that bring forward what was already waiting in the womb that is a tree” (7). The tree is treated with something akin to reverence, and human effort or skill is not praised as much as the latent potential of the tree. This idea of men having no right to command or control nature becomes central to the novel as the Dollarmen try to claim the land for themselves. Finally, we are given the story of the master carver’s final work, which serves as an introduction to the culture represented by the novel. As he describes it, he presents the image of an almost grotesque figure, with a large head, a long tongue, a hunched back, short arms, and extra fingers. And yet, all of these features are meaningful – they represent skills and gifts. The figure he carves resembles Toko in its deformity, but also in its value. The Dollarmen look down on Toko because of his disability, but his family loves and embraces him, as does his community. They see his intelligence and his compassion, and they value him for the skills that he does possess rather than pitying him for what he lacks. The Maori homeland is accepting and embraces all of nature, even its apparent ugliness. They do not place anyone above or below everyone else – they are all in charge, and live in a beautiful, respectful harmony which is both unfamiliar and refreshing to one who is accustomed to Western views. 

Cross Roads

     Is the homeland always lost? If you’re living in it, it’s not so much of a homeland so much as it is your land. It only takes the prefix home once you’ve visited another land––or until there comes a change to the land you’d called home. A “you never know what you’ve got until it’s gone" kind-of scenario. I think this is telling of a central aspect of the homeland in that it is always firmly rooted in the past, and the past is eternally far away––forever out of our grasp. 

     In Patricia Grace’s novel Potiki she tells the story of the Te Ope tribe, a community of Maori natives living in European colonized New Zealand. Grace calls this period of colonization a “contact point” because it is a crossroads between the traditional Maori lifestyle and the rapidly developing modern culture brought upon by the migrating Europeans. Among this plane of cultural exchange we are introduced to Toko, a native boy born into the the melting pot New Zealand. I empathize with Toko since his situation is so close to my own. My parents are from a homeland much like Toko’s parents and my life has been a tug-of-war between two completely different worlds. I was raised by my parents and they instilled in me the teachings of their mothers and fathers, and i was also raised by the city and all of its different pallets of people. My first language was Spanish but I speak perfect english without any hint of an accent. Personally, I appreciate the person I am because of my dualistic upbringing, it has made me into a unique individual. Rooted in the past but forever moving forward.

The Shore and the Sea:Death and Life

The Shore and the Sea:Death and Life
Almost immediately, in order to establish the home of the Potki’s protagonists, Patricia Grace utilizes simple lyrical descriptions of the land, particularly with regards to the seashore which took on a nature that, yours truly had never before experienced in a work of art. To quote directly from the work itself “the shore is a place without seed, without nourishment, a scavenged dead place”(Grace 18). However, through this death a freedom is bred as is a certain “rest” (18). By contrast the sea sits nearby. It is described just as implicitly as the shore though not as directly (Of course, this is just one person's opinion).
Mary throws that which “either lived or could live” into the sea (19), the sea is the place for life but with this life is effort, a constant straining. As a like e.g. of this consider the example of young Toko’s catching the fish. The fish is trapped literally on the line (and later on the rock while the hunt comes to a close) but in the requisite more profound reading this entrapment seems to suggest that the sea functions as an inverse of the freedom provided by the beach (frustration abounds about how English majory this sentence reads/feels. Hopefully this disclaimer makes it a little more bearable). 
Very notably the protagonists don’t want to fall into the sea (Grace 49). Hence the sanctity of death is established in the novel before the importance of life. As macabre as this may appear there’s a kind of  joy in the technique. It prioritizes the liberation of death (thus the festivities when Hemi’s mother dies) and celebrates it for it makes possible the hallowed notion of rebirth which proves to be absolutely vital in understanding the psyche of the protagonists of Potki and consequently connecting through the smog of post-modern, twenty first century, capitalistic cynicism.

Death and Toki in Potiki

I really appreciate the way in which the story is told. I can tell how this culture operates and the degree of importance they place on storytelling, their land, bonds between people, and death. What I liked best about my reading this novel was that I was able to gleam these things without the author telling me outright. That being said, I would like to explore the idea of death in Potiki. When the mother of Hemi and Mary dies, the language used observes "Absent from among the mourners was Hemi's and Mary's mother, but she was present in the photographs against the wall, and what I knew by then was that she was present amongst us in death" (27). It seemed to me an interesting way to communicate that their mother had died. Clearly, it seems the case that their cultural understanding of what it means to die differs from Western culture. the mother is dead, but she is not gone, she is just there in a different form. This makes for a home with an interesting atmosphere, one where spirits past and present are still in relation with one another. Even with the character of Toko, we learn that his coming into being has not been easy, and that he is named after the dead. The grandmother names him after her dead brother and it wold seem that he goes on to take special gifts, presumably because he has this connection with the dead. I think it is also interesting that Toko describes his mother potentially killing both him and herself when he was young by saying "she could have kept walking with me out into the water until the sea closed over us, and we would both have belonged to the fishes. But my sister Tangimoana, in her red shirt, came and snatched me away from my first drowning and hurried home with me" (42). He doesn't say that he would have died, but stresses that he would have lived in a different way, belonging to the fishes. When Toko does finally die, he doesn't just liner amongst the people in death, but becomes eternalized as well in Potiki. I think the novel is challenging our perception of death in a way that challenges Western definitions and reveals many things about the people's way of life.

Gentrification: The Death of Culture

          There are many poignant points in this tragic novel, but I want to observe the how the act of gentrification can, and in this case does, kill culture.  The reason the events of the book fall into place is because people want to develop the land for more profitable means, particularly an underwater zoo. This idea that land has no value beyond that of the monetary is part of the reasoning behind gentrification.  Instead of seeing the land for its cultural importance including the homes and meeting house of this indigenous people, they see it as a tourism profit using the local marine life. With this land being taken over by modernity, the people have no choice but to adapt and lose much if not all of their culture, or they move, which they may not be monetarily able to do and if they can then they still risk losing their culture in a foreign place.  This monetary aspect is in particular an issue in modern times as people will buy up areas in poor neighborhoods and build the area up with the fads of the day so that people with money will spend it there or even live there.  This may seem like a great thing since the area will have more amenities and cash flowing into the area, but in actuality it raises the price of living so high that people living there have to move to another poor neighborhood and small businesses, which create a culture of their own, have to shut down.  This is simply a legal, and often times favorably seen, way of killing off local culture in favor of a superficial capitalist driven pseudo culture that only a select few can truly fit and participate in.  This act tries to progressively paint a single picture of a people/culture and as a result push any unfavorable groups into ghettos.  

The Sea in Potiki

From the beginning of Patricia Grace's novel Potiki, it is very obvious that nature and its beauty, movement, and power, is extremely important to the people of the Maori community.  It is a constant presence in the lives of these people and means a great deal to them. Their home is surrounded by nature: by the sea, the hills, the sand, and the mountains and their continued happiness and the perpetuation of their community depends on their environment. This is why they fight so hard to defend it against the "Dollarman" when they want to turn their ancestral lands into a corporate, tourist circus. The imagery that particularly struck me was that of the sea, throughout the entire narrative. At the beginning of the story, Roimata tells the reader that, "we live by the sea, which hems and stitches the scalloped edges of the land" (15). The land is the Maori peoples' birthright and is a large part of who they are and their culture, therefore the sea shapes their way of life. Tangimoana is described "as sharp-edged as the sea rocks"; her name comes from the sound the sea makes. The sea is a constant presence in the lives of the people; when Mary is on the beach with the "the soft whisperings of the sea" accompany them (22).
        When Roimata returns home after being at school, the thing she watches from the train window is the sea and the seagulls, which are free. She then walks along the shore rather than the road to be free from recognition because there is "freedom on the shore, and rest" (18). The sea and the shore are  freeThe sea is wild and untamable, the people in the Maori community do not try to control nature, but protect it. Conversely, the "Dollarman" who tries to convince the community that they can profit from selling their land and that he will "give families, school children, an opportunity to see the sea life", tries to control the sea (92). The rebuttal of that statement is that the dolphins, killer whales, and seals are wildlife and cannot be made to play with the locals or perform. The natives don't want to give up their nature and their culture because it is like giving up their freedom when they had "just begun to be free"(95). This is why it is heavily symbolic when the floods occur because, the sea, the representative of the Maori people's freedom, destroys that which is trying to take away their freedom.

Death and Homeland in Potiki

Patricia Grace’s poignant and tragic novel, Potiki, examines cultural changes in New Zealand, particularly pertaining to the Maori culture. The story circulates around a detailed description of homeland. Using imagery, sounds, songs, and different character perspectives, Grace gives the reader a haunting picture of a land and culture that cannot and does not exist any longer. Within this work, the sea and death is mentioned often. There are consistent references to the shoreline being dead: “The shore is a place without seed, without nourishment, a scavenged death place. It is a wasteland, too salt for growth, where the sea puts up its dead…Yet because of being a nothing, a neutral place—not land, not sea—there is freedom on the shore, and rest” (Grace 18). This homeland seems to worship and even revolve around death. Death and a sense of nothingness give the area its own unique sense of identity.

            Another place where death is mentioned comes when the characters are attending a memorial service, and a song is sung to commemorate the dead: “You have gone/As the song bird/Flown,/But my foot is caught/In the root/Of the flower tree./You have gone/And here I am/Alone,/The flowers fall/Like rain” (Grace 28). Here, there is another connection between death and nature. However, this death pertains to a person, not the land. Yet, there is still an inherent connection between the dead person and the land. Nature is clearly extremely important to the Te Ope people, as flowers and rain are mentioned in the song. In addition, there is a noticeable sense of deep mourning for being left alone by the deceased. At one point, Roimata even says that only Hemi, her true love, can save her from being doomed to remain in purgatory; only he can set her free. This is an interesting concept because not only is the land considered home, but the people that inhabit the land are also home. Without the love and care of other people in the tribe, the homeland is wasted. This can connect to our modern understanding of the concept of home. Many people associate family and friends with home; certainly, a geographical area can be called a homeland, but for many it is the people and memories that constitute a sense of home.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Maori cultural in Potiki

Patricia Grace's Potiki tells the story of the Te Ope tribe of Maori natives inhabiting New Zealand during a period of European colonization that facilitated "contact points" between the two differing cultures. The Te Ope people value their cultural traditions that epitomize Maori culture. Grace emphasizes the Maori's reverence of nature and a profound sense of community that enables the Te Ope cultures to overcome hardships due to the prevalence of group unity. Many members of Te Ope society embrace their traditional values and cultural aspects. However, the persona of Toko embodies the motif of dual cultural values due to his mixed ethnic composition. Joseph and Mary give birth to Toko and establish the dynamic of a character who demonstrates a dualistic cultural identity. His ambiguous background suggest he possesses mixed blood as half European and half Maori. His racial identity parallels the amalgamation of European and Maori cultures in a historic "contact point" between cultures. Another prevalent aspect of the novel is Grace's usage of carpentry and structures as a metaphor that represents the complex history and traditions of the Maori people. The houses and various wooden structures represent the longevity and sustainability of their culture. The wooden structures represent the preservation of the Maori culture and tradition as it continues for generations of Maori to come. The Te Ope place a high degree of value on their cultural traditions and many adamantly resist the presence of colonial influence in their homeland.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Time is neutral

Does everything happen for a reason? Is there such thing as fate?
These are some questions that have troubled my mind for quite some time now. The theory of innate meaning, as I like to call it, commonly finds itself assured when a series of bad events end on a good note. For example, married couples that believe their significant other to be their true love, often think of their past lovers as stepping stones that paved the way that ultimately led them to each other.
Dr. King answers these lingering questions in his essay Letter From Birmingham Jail when he correctly points out that "time is neutral". The innate meaning theory, apart for being a good and comforting explanation for decisions or events in our life that we regard as mistakes or painful, is also a useful tool for oppressors. In his letter, MLK strongly rejects the argument that a lot of religious leaders are giving him when asking for patience from the black community by saying that time will eventually bring change. Time does not bring change, we do. To be clear, that statement does not alter or cancel out the concept that change takes time. Both of those hold equal truth. Change requires people to take action, and the continuity and persistence of those actions are the ones that make the change.
Dr. King brilliantly writes that time can "be used destructively or constructively", and in those lines, he is able to embody the whole essence of life and existence. So to myself I reaffirm that things do not just happen, people make them happen. There is such thing as fate, we choose and forge our paths everyday with the decisions we make. And ultimately, what gives meaning to the world, as Dr. King also points out, are the moral causes that we in our hearts choose to fight for.

America: Our Home

In both “The Service of Faith and the Promotion of Justice in American Jesuit Higher Education” by Peter-Haus Kolvenbach, S.J. and Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” one common point between the two became clear. They both discuss how those who experience injustice deserve to have justice, because in the end we all live in the same world which highlights Martin Luther King Jr.’s point that “injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere”. Whether we believe it or not we are affected by events occurring around the world which is why both Kolvenbach and King urge everyone to face injustice and begin to tackle it by offering Faith and solutions for justice.
            At the Conference on Commitment to Justice held for three days in October, 2000 several religious leaders from all over the world came together to discuss the need to change how Jesuit education can promote justice through faith. This concept was new for religious leaders, because it was hard to understand how justice and faith correlate. However, throughout history faith has been a salvation for people experience any type of injustice, whether it’s some form of oppression or social economic challenges faith has been a literal escape from the unjust treatment experienced by many. The most important part about 400 delegates coming together to work on promoting justice through faith was that so many of those leaders were from areas where injustice is prevalent. It was not just American and European Jesuits who came to the conference but those leaders who can begin to make a change in certain areas of the world where change is absolutely necessary in order to promote justice. The conference encouraged Jesuit universities to shape students and faculty to work with those experiencing poverty and injustice in their own areas because we are one community and injustice must not be ignored by anyone it has to be dealt with or nothing will change.
            In Martin Luther King’s letter he quoted St. Augustine and referenced Socrates, emphasizing the injustice he and many other black Americans were experiencing during the 1960s. He even went as far as addressing individuals directly expressing how wrong they actually were. The most important part of his argument was that America is freedom. From the beginning of the formation of the nation freedom was always America. Again emphasizing that this is our home it is where we of all nationalities, race, and ethnicities live and therefore we must fight for our family and not treat them like anything less.

            Today there is still injustice all over the world. Even in America poverty is apparent throughout and issues like police brutality is still relevant. Both Kolvenbach and King discuss the injustice within the world, the injustice in 2000 and in 1963. Sadly, although some things have improved, a lot has yet to change. Home is where we are from, where we have roots. Baltimore, Maryland is my home. It is where I grew up and went to school. It is where I became who I am today. I found that looking ar the recent events which occurred here in Baltimore this past April I have a responsibility as a citizen of this city as well as of this country to discuss what happened with others and actively go out into my own community to discover what I can do as an individual to hear the voices of those who have felt unheard. If anything has changed since the Civil Rights Movement it is that today we do actually put Kolvenbach’s idea of promoting faith through justice to heart because at Loyola at least we are willing to do that in Baltimore, since “injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere”. 

The Global Justice

       In the modern world there are two cardinal truths to which all people adhere: these truths are wealth and poverty. Every nation’s power and influence is determined by the resources and capital at its disposal. The so-called third world is a way of classifying those countries on the bottom run of the global ladder while the first world powers are those nations that have true sway over the global structure. These classifications, however, are dated back to the Cold War (a war that is now over) and are obsolete. It is much more accurate to think of them as being core nations and peripheral nations. Core nations, as their name suggests, are at the core of commerce within a region and is the venue through which the majority of action takes place. Kolvenbach writes,
       The former ‘Second World’ struggles to repair the human and environmental damage left behind by so-called socialist regimes. Industries are re-locating to poorer nations, not to distribute wealth and opportunity, but to exploit the relative advantage of low wages and lax environmental regulations. Many countries become yet poorer, especially where corruption and exploitation prevail over civil society and where violent conflict keeps erupting. (31)
       The peripheral countries, as their name suggests, are on the periphery of these core countries and, as such, are largely dependent on them for their functionality. These periphery countries are often the places where the core countries import their goods from as well as a variety of other services.
Africa is a peripheral nation with England being in its immediate periphery. We observed the ways in which the African nation became subservient to the British crown and the effects that the supposed first-world has on the latter third-world. Achebe’s Okonkwo was a character devoted to his motherland and, as a result of his extreme devotion, he found himself opposed to the oppressive influence of the crown. Okonkwo perceived this influence as being a threat to his traditional way of life and desired to preserve his culture in the face of impending modernity. This is the central conflict of the peripheral nation insofar as it is in the nation’s best interest to emulate the core powers of the world but, in doing so, they sacrifice their old culture to make way for a newer one. Try as they might, though, there can only be so many core powers in the world and they require a supporting cast of peripheral powers to support this global infrastructure. 
       So how does justice fit into all of this? Why is poverty so often correlated with injustice if poverty is a basic component of our world structure? For there to be rich folk there must also be poor folk. In order to understand the pursuit of justice, it is best to observe the pursuers of justice. Today’s readings started with Martin Luther King Junior’s Letter From Birmingham Jail, in which letter King calls for an awareness of the injustices plaguing American society. King famously states here that Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere and thus puts justice on the universal scale. Throughout his letter he harks to certain universal truths, the most important being freedom. He writes, 
       Something within has reminded him of his birthright of freedom; something without has reminded him that he can gain it… and with his black brothers of Africa and his brown and yellow brothers of Asia, South America, and the Caribbean, he is moving with a sense of cosmic urgency toward the promised land of racial justice. (MLK 4)

       As Martin Luther King suggests here, justice (in any sense, not just in the racial) is something that all men strive for. It is deserved among every person and the achievement of such justice is integral in the advancement of our global society.

The Past and Home

Daniel Bormes
23 September 2015
Dr. Juniper Ellis
EN 384
The Past and Home
For the past three years I’ve periodically left the bosom of the lush and rolling greenery of northeastern Pennsylvania and driven between hills and across farm lands, over asphalt and past middle America to this place (i.e. Loyola) to glean what I can from incredibly educated, intellectually superior instructors. This, needless and cliche as it is to say, has evolved my perception of home to no small degree. But it’s done so in ways that are more confusing than informative, more frustrating than liberating. Due to my enrollment and presence here, at Loyola, a paradox has been created that is felt poignantly every time I fall back into the bosom of PA. I submit that this paradox isn’t because I’m a different person at Loyola than I am at home or that Loyola is even remotely some kind of home away from home in the typical comforting way but rather because the two places between which I split all of my conscious hours are agitatingly similar in some very basic and not so superficial ways. Very Catholic, very white, very conservative, both have been housed enough emotionally compelling experiences that any number of things in the two environments can conjure up any number of recollections that could strike yours affectionately at any moment with a certain force but both are comfortable, safe and complicated.
Thus, when I return to PA I feel the sensation of never having left mingle profoundly with the feeling of being re-acclimated to everything. What makes this notion more problematic is that in my physical absence I greatly romanticize the pastoral landscape I leave to come to Baltimore. I don’t idealize the people so much as the sensations associated with the place. Here’s the thing though, I don’t particularly like the emotions that either Loyola or my home actually incur. At best they conjure up some kind of warm,nostalgic stagnation. At worst it’s a damp, anxiety inducing impression of life passing me by. Consequently, not to get too angsty and pseudo existential here, I why I continue to come to Loyola rather than bring about a little diversity in order to perhaps save my sanity before graduation or, more radically, why don’t I leave both places for as long as I can. The answer must be that it’s easy and it’s simple to attend this school, that it’s safe, that I need not redefine myself in relation to an other that is foreign rather the other is the monster I’ve always known.
Still there are, inevitably, differences and these have pulled me halfway out my cocoon which ties into the readings, specifically the Salmon Rushdie piece because he addresses a question I’ll soon have to (at least one I’ll have to (finally) address in full). Namely: when I leave behind my home entirely and begin to spend my time in a place that doesn’t strike me as very similar is some essential ways how do I reconcile this change with my original home? How do I bridge the two, especially given my romanticization of the place from which I hail (the woods of Pennsylvania)? Particularly if it’s a place as divorced from my home as England is from India.
Rushdie it would seem, prior to writing Midnight Children, had disassociated himself from his home to such an extent that he saw it monochromatically and as something that needed to be reclaimed (Rushdie 9,10). His novel represents the reclamation process and it’s made possible because he embraced the fragmentation associated with memory believing that in its fractured nostalgia it was just as evocative as a perfectly recollected past. He allowed the banal to become enthralling, the innocuous to become symbolically immense, he allowed his recollections to take on a fallible life of their own so that he might come to terms with the thought that, as he says, “we are not gods but cracked lenses capable only of fractured perceptions” (Rushdie). For the money of yours truly he sums up this point most adequately when he states (almost as an aside that it “is normally supposed that something always gets lost in translation; I cling, obstinately, to the notion that something can also be gained” (17).

He sought the organic, spontaneous value that can be found in experiencing one’s home in relation to a bold, new place and I find difficulty in faulting this model but there appears to be the precious necessity of time in order to pick up the shattered glass with which to view the pass. To learn the language into which one is being translated, so to speak. As frustrating and difficult it is to swallow this caveat I can’t imagine any way to allow the imaginative truth to blossom.

In order to avoid the implication of any elephantine platitudes that could be construed from this conclusion i.e.* “The truth can set you free.” I don’t consider this deduction to be remotely liberating nor do I consider that the point. It’s all about trying to figure out what defines yours truly and how it defines yours truly but yours truly is ,inevitably, defined and locked tightly in my cage. And the key is thrown away. But I pray I can figure out what the bars look like. *And I hope I’m not putting words in your mouth