This July, I will be self publishing my debut novel Traveller In The Dark. It took me five years to write it and this past year I’ve more or less let it be. A hinterland is the remote areas of a country away from the coast or the banks of major rivers. It can also mean an area lying beyond what is visible or known. I guess I felt that I was in the hinterlands as I wrote this novel. It was the book I never read and the words I never said. Culture is also an overused word and usually refers to the easily seen surface. But real culture is the substance, it’s what’s underneath. It’s not written, rarely explained and not easily decoded. I was in the hinterlands looking in on cultures as I was growing up.
I’m sharing some articles which inspired me as I wrote. I’ve included questions and/or passages that resonated. I hope they do for you too.
But what about a loss in which nobody died? Does it count as grief?
Indeed, the distances, the differences between cultures are often greater than ever before, in part because of the illusion of closeness.
The origins of these deep-seated feelings for home likely date back deep into our evolutionary history. Over millions of years, both our biological evolution and our cultural propensity to make things have shaped us to be not only homebodies but homeminded as well.
Most Brits and Americans have got those kitchen-sink memories of youth. But what if you don’t? What if you never stayed anywhere long enough to call it home?
Where am I? Random swimming pool, random country. Whom do I know here? Nobody, really. Who would miss me? Nobody, really.
You re-emerge into darkness, the motel room. All these years later, you still enter those shadows, with books, the twilight that disappears now into wherever you can imagine. It’s a home, or familiar as one. Because as much as you’ve tried, you don’t remember leaving the motel.