Monday, September 24, 2012


Just a handful floating around in my head from things I've been reading lately.

Abraham Verghese (Cutting for Stone):

"We are all fixing what is broken. It is the task of a lifetime. We'll leave much unfinished for the next generation."

"Wasn't that the definition of home? Not where you are from, but where you are wanted?"

"Years later, when Idi Amin said and did outrageous things, I understood that his motivation was to rattle the good people of Greenwich mean time, have them raise their heads from their tea and scones, and say, Oh, yes. Africa. For a fleeting moment they'd have the same awareness of us that we had of them."

Dinesh D'Souza (Godforsaken):

"There is something a little off key about Western academics saying, 'I have lost my faith because of the suffering of the Rwandans,' while Rwandans are saying, 'Our faith draws us closer to the only one who can console and protect us, which is God.'"

David Wroblewski (The Story of Edgar Sawtelle):

"Just when normal life felt almost possible--when the world held some kind of order, meaning, even loveliness (the prismatic spray of light through an icicle; the stillness of a sunrise), some small thing would go awry and the veil of optimism was torn away, the barren world revealed. They learned, somehow, to wait those times out. There was no cure, no answer, no reparation."

Tash Aw (Map of the Invisible World):

"In those days he did not understand yet that Home was not necessarily where you were born, or even where you grew up, but something else entirely, something fragile that could exist anywhere in the world."

Miroslav Volf (Exclusion & Embrace):

"The account of creation as 'separating-and-binding' rather than simply 'separating' suggests that 'identity' includes connection, difference, heterogeneity. The human self is formed not through a simple rejection of the other--through a binary logic of opposition and negation--but through a complex process of 'taking in' and 'keeping out.' We are who we are not because we are separate from the others who are next to us, but because we are both separate and connected, both distinct and related; the boundaries that mark our identities are both barriers and bridges. I, Miroslav Volf, am who I am both because I am distinct from Judy Gundry-Volf, and because over the past 15 years I have been shaped by a relationship with her. Similarly, to be 'black' in the US means to be in a certain relationship--all too often an unpleasant relationship--to 'whites.' Identity is a result of the distinction from the other and the internalization of the relationship to the other; it arises out of the complex history of 'differentiation' in which both the self and the other take part by negotiating their identities in interaction with one another. Hence, as Paul Ricoeur has argued in Oneself as Another, 'the selfhood of oneself implies otherness to such an intimate degree that one cannot be thought of without the other.'"

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