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Sunday, February 6, 2011

History: It Never Lets You Go

Sometimes you encounter these odd triangulations in your life. As if it has all been a dream from which you have woken, temporarily. Three bits of your life juxtaposed, though years apart and from different countries, even continents.

I am on a Virgin Atlantic plane heading to London from Accra. This us MA what happened. I saw a film called Never Let me Go from a novel by Ishiguru. As I watched I saw countryside and coastal settings as familiar as the mind can recall. They were all in Norfolk. Places I had walked and talked. Places I no longer really saw because they were every day familiar. The film is worth seeing. It is both unsettling and also a period piece, set in the 1970s. The first decade of my time there. It is sufficiently unsettling to be classed as science fiction in a Margaret Atwood kind of way. I could almost have written it. It felt as if I had. After all I did the Creative Writing course at UEA the year after Ian McEwan and before Kazuo Ishiguru. What happened on that course might fill a number of future blogs!

I got up at the end of it to wiggle my toes and do what you need to do to stop deep vein thrombosis and caught sight of where the aircraft had reached on one of those moving maps beloved by early cinema and copied in Indiana Jones films. We were just past Barcelona and directly over the house I own in France, near Perpignan. Accra, Norfolk, the Franco Spanish border, Ishiguro. Triangulation is needed to tell you where you are. But it doesn’t tell you who you are.


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