I think it’s kind of weird how places become more than just physical landmarks once people have touched them. That probably sounds weird but I’m not sure how else to say it: a place becomes more than itself once we start associating things with it, like people we’ve met and grown close to, and memories we’ve had in those places. Of course, this is an ongoing process where some random house a few doors down may not have much meaning to you until you go there, but it means something to the person already there.
… Anyway, I was really struck by this feeling while I was reading through AD 26/27. I’ve already talked a little bit about place so I’ll try not to repeat myself too much, but I was part comforted and part distraught when I was reading James Reidel’s translation from the German of Thomas Bernhard’s poem “My Parents’ House,” and I wanted to share that here. I was comforted by the familiarity of the feeling of being at home, but caught off guard with Reidel’s care towards the complexities of being home that are often over-looked: Reidel’s image of the home wasn’t just some pastoral dreamscape. The more I read, the more I realize how integral a sense of place is to our experiences, and the more I realize how well Artful Dodge integrates literature that has such a strong sense of place in its pages.
—autumn, Editorial Asst.—