Recently received an email from an old Newfoundland friend of mine. When I left I was running away. I was sixteen, and sad. I kept in touch with a few people for awhile, but they all drifted off after a few years. The internet is a strange thing. It changes our geographies. It also changes our relationship to time, the landscape of our histories.

Would you ever want to get back inside your childhood? There are so many novels out there written by adults from a child’s point of view. But none of them get inside it. How could they? Childhood is about a completely different way of seeing, may be one that has little to do with language, and articulation.

I’m re-reading Hiromi Goto’s Chorus of Mushrooms. It isn’t about childhood, but it is about getting inside an unoccupiable subjectivity. She writes in English, attempting to create the interior Japanese-language chatter of an old grandmother. And it works, because she doesn’t strive for realist accuracy but shoots straight for a kind of poetic fantastic.

1 Comment

  1. a.raw on September 18, 2005 at 11:22 am

    don’t know that i’ve considered, ever, crawling bakck inside my childhood. when i was growing up, i recall thinking how i behaved like i was 30. i used to practice sitting very still and quietly when waiting in a doctor’s office or at my dad’s work.

    7 or 8 years ago, i felt a new childhood coming on as i entered university. i indulged in a lot of play and even silliness that i’d deemed “out-of-bounds” during my adult-adulating formative years. i recall considering the transformation almost a role-reversal — spent childhood years behaving like an adult, caring for family where parent(s) didn’t seem capable in a “normal” way at times. then, once on my own, i played at childlike behaviour.

    a few years ago, i watched amelie and another childhood bloomed. i saw the world in a way i hadn’t before and marveled at it.

    now, after a couple years of surface living, i’m opening that grand velvet drape where another child awaits.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.