"Handbags" at Metro Pictures
What’s true is that I am Chilean, and I am also a lot of other things. And having arrived at this point, I must abandon Jarry and Bolivar and try to remember the writer who said that the homeland of a writer is his tongue. I don’t remember his name. Perhaps it was a writer who wrote in Spanish. Perhaps it was a writer who wrote in English or French. A writer’s homeland, he said, is his tongue. It sounds a little demagogic, but I agree with him completely, and I know that sometimes there is no recourse left us but to get a little demagogic, just like sometimes there is no recourse left us but to dance a bolero under the light of streetlamps or a red moon. Although it’s also true that a writer’s homeland is not his tongue, or not only his tongue, but also the people he loves. And sometimes a writer’s homeland is not the people he loves but his memory. And other times a writer’s only homeland is his loyalty, and his courage.
Bolaño, from “The Caracas Speech” (1999), accessible online at Triple Canopy
Ben StonePhony Home 2
painted cast resin
75” h x 72” w x 1⁄2” d
In the Street (1948)
Helen Levitt, James Agee, & Janice Loeb