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Reflections of a working writer and reader



Interview with Charles Foran

That Shakespeherian Rag has a fascinating interview with Charles Foran, the author of eight books of fiction and nonfiction. The following is only a taster:

In Asia I get to forget all about myself for long periods. I’ve always enjoyed that, longed for it, sought ways to achieve that flight from the narrow, pinched corridor of the self out into the wide expanse of the non-self, the non-personal. In short, I’m lost in Asia, at sea about how to speak (dumb, once again, in most places), what to think, how to behave, smile, eat food, bow to monks, address stray dogs in streets. In Asia I am even more a nobody than I am here, for the simple reason that the “body” that is me — i.e. the western male of certain age and background — remains a “no’”body over there, dislocated, floating.

Also, in the two decades I’ve been travelling and living (for five years) in Asia, something fundamental has changed in the East/West dynamic. Crudely, “ism-ly,” I hereby declare colonialism long gone, orientalism shortly gone, and an era of parity, of even a pending new imbalance, emerging. If there is an East/West narrative unfolding in the 21st century, it is, or is going to be, the tale of the East incurring, destabilizing, changing the West — not the other way around. How interesting is that?

Foran’s recent book of essays and criticism, Join the Revolution, Comrade: Journeys and Essays, is published by Biblioasis in Canada.

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