“If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.”
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Sometimes an old photograph, an old friend, an old letter will remind you that you are not who you once were, for the person who dwelt among them, valued this, chose that, wrote thus, no longer exists. Without noticing, you have traversed a great distance; the strange has become familiar and the familiar if not strange at least awkward or uncomfortable, an out-grown garment. (pg. 80)
That life is a journey is a given in these songs whose background after all is the urbanization of rural whites and northern migration of southern blacks, but the intense love of place frames this journey not as an enlightenment narrative of discovery of the unknown but an insular tale of loss of the formative terra cognita that exists in the song only as a memory, a map written in the darkness of your guts, readable in a cross section of your autopsied heart. (pg. 121)
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