Thursday, June 01, 2006

kristeva on the cosmopolitan

from Strangers to Ourselves, p 38

One who is happy being a cosmopolitan [, see 3rd paragraph for definition of a person described thus] shelters a shattered origin in the night of his wandering. It irradiates his memories that are made up of ambivalences and divided values. That whirlwind translates into shrill laughter. It dries up at once the tears of exile and, exile following exile, without any stability, transmutes into games what for some is a misfortune and for others an untouchable void. Such a strangeness is undoubtedly an art of living for the happy few or for artists. And for others? I am thinking of the moment when we succeed in viewing ourselves as unessential, simple passers by, retaining of the past only the game…A strange way of being happy, or feeling imponderable, ethereal, so light in weight that it would take so little to make us fly away…

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