Spatial conflicts and curiosities (the lighthearted call to the open road, for example) can undergird the entire momentum and tone of a novel. Without knowing a character’s place in the world, it’s challenging to gather the full context of their decisions.
“That for which we find words is something already dead in our hearts. There is always a kind of contempt in the act of speaking.” I’ve always bristled at Nietsche’s many remarks on language. Here’s another: “All words are prejudices.”
We’ve been here before. The scenes we’ve seen and read about in the refugee crisis that has overwhelmed Eastern and Western Europe—Alan Kurdi cradled by the Turkish officer, people bearing their possessions on their backs held back by border police, and the drowned misery of the camps in Lesvos—have