Altogether Elsewhere: Writers on Exile

ISBN 13: 9780571198290

Altogether Elsewhere: Writers on Exile

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9780571198290: Altogether Elsewhere: Writers on Exile

"Exile itself can be a country to explore," wrote the exiled South African essayist Breyten Breytenbach. More than forty writers prove his point in Altogether Elsewhere, an anthology of diverse reflections by notable literary exiles. Classic and contemporary writers from Europe, the United States, Latin America, Africa, and the Caribbean deepen our understanding of exile, meditating on the tension between lost and found languages, between fortifying memory and debilitating nostalgia, between the joys of freedom and the sense of entrapment within that freedom. Contributors include Mary Antin, Austin Clarke, Janet Frame, Czeslaw Milosz, Es'kia Mphahlele, Petrarch, Darryl Pinckney, and Marina Tsvetaeva, among others.
Taken together, these essays, letters, journals, and memoirs of writers displaced by either choice or circumstance present a rich, ever expanding portrait of exile literature, one that includes the resilience of the political exile, the adventurousness of the voluntary expatriate, the ingenious adaptability of the emigre, and the perpetual dissatisfaction of the nomad. Altogether Elsewhere acknowledges the fear and wariness of expatriates as well as the sardonic side of displacement once suggested by Joseph Brodsky, who has termed the exile's life a "tragicomedy" where "the democracy into which he has arrived provides him with physical safety but renders him socially insignificant." Yet this anthology also embodies Gertrude Stein's reassuring reminder that "writers have to have two countries, the one where they belong and the one in which they live really."

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From Publishers Weekly:

Many of the exiled or expatriate writers in this superb anthology forged a new sense of self through immersion in their adoptive country. South African Breyten Breytenbach, a naturalized French citizen since 1983, calls exile "a blessing in disguise" that forces one to jettison cliches and stereotypes. For Barbados-born Austin Clarke, who has lived in Canada for four decades, relocation led him to evaluate his native culture through foreign eyes. Robinson ( The Other American Drama ) skillfully splices essays, letters, journal entries, excerpts from memoirs and random jottings by Plutarch, Victor Hugo, Thomas Mann, Marina Tsvetaeva, Hannah Arendt, James Baldwin, Edward Said, Kay Boyle, Julio Cortazar, Czeslaw Milosz and others. Rich in insight, these meditations on the solitude, freedom, joys and trials of exile variously echo Australian-born novelist Janet Frame's observation, quoted here, that "all writers--all beings--are exiles as a matter of course" since we all cope with life as a succession of expulsions and displacements.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

The phenomenon of the intellectual emigrant, expatriate, and refugee is nothing new. The present volume is an anthology of 53 essays describing the experience of exile from the viewpoints of a diversity of writers. These are grouped in sections, e.g., "Definitions," "Allegiances," "Lessons and Opportunities." The problem with this volume is that it is tedious to read from cover to cover; readers will not have the same degree of interest in every writer or culture represented. The essays are variations on the same theme, yet they are all very personal statements. Thus, any effort to classify or group them falls short. Many authors (i.e., Victor Hugo, Seneca, Thomas Mann) are already well represented in library collections. The book will have a limited audience of scholars interested in literary biography; a marginal purchase for most libraries.
Lesley Jorbin, Cleveland State Univ. Lib.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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ROBINSON, MARC [ED.].
Verlag: Boston-London, Faber & Faber Inc. (1994)
ISBN 10: 0571198295 ISBN 13: 9780571198290
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Buchbeschreibung Boston-London, Faber & Faber Inc., 1994. Original publisher's dark-gray cloth spine, light-gray paper-covered boards, gilt lettering spine, pictorial dustjacket, large 8vo: xxij, 416pp., 53 contributions, acknowledgements, biographical & textual notes, table of contents. Very fine copy. Artikel-Nr. 184460

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