May 24, 2004

Not An Englishman

A. Alvarez quoted in an old NYT Book Review I accidentally find: "I am a Londoner, heart and soul, but not quite an Englishman". I used to blurt out something similar in London -- a Londoner but never an Englishman -- with some sort of combined pride and longing. A Londoner but not English, a Bay Arean but not American, a Woy Woy boy or Sydneysider but never quite Australian.... Always aware, nearly my entire life, that no matter how local I looked (and I've usually looked fairly local), the moment I opened my mouth I'm a foreigner.


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