LOST CHILDREN ARCHIVE | VALERIA LUISELLI

LOVED this book! Metafiction that brilliantly and poetically addresses the horrific crisis at our southern borders without being a political rant. The writing style is compelling. Now I have to read all of her previous essays and books.

The thing about living with someone is that even though you see them every day and can predict all their gestures in a conversation, even when you can read intentions behind their actions and calculate their responses to circumstances fairly accurately, even when you are sure there’s not a single crease in them left unexplored, even then, one day, the other can suddenly become a stranger.

Something changed in the world. Not too long ago, it changed, and we know it. We don’t know how to explain it yet, but I think we all can feel it, somewhere deep in our gut or in our brain circuits. We feel time differently. No one has quite been able to capture what is happening or say why. Perhaps it’s just that we sense an absence of future, because the present has become too overwhelming, so the future has become unimaginable. And without future, time feels like only an accumulation.

Our mother teach us to speak, and the world teaches us to shut up.

But I suppose it’s always been like that. I suppose that the convenient narrative has always been to portray the nations that are systematically abused by more powerful nations as a no-man’s-land, as a barbaric periphery whose chaos and brownness threaten civilized white peace. Only such a narrative can justify decades of dirty war, interventionist policies, and the overall delusion of moral and cultural superiority of the world’s economic and military powers. Reading articles like this one, I find myself amused at their unflinching certitude about right and wrong, good and bad. Not amused, actually, but a little bit frightened. None of this is new, though I guess I am simply accustomed to dealing with more edulcorated versions of xenophobia. I don’t know which is worse.