Athens, Still Remains

My original memory palace

And so it continues. Tomorrow I travel again, backward and forward into history. An ancient city to the east, even older than Rome. Or, a deeper look into an older self — a child’s view out a strange window, or from behind the adults, looking up onto the table. This is the exact place where language was both a) an obstruction and b) an expansive view inside and out.

How is it possible that a language could feel both known and unknown? What if it could be learned? What would be understood?

For the next six weeks you’ll find me here, enrolled in a Greek language class here, thinking about this place, and looking behind, ahead, inside and out.

To get me in the mood, I’ve been reading —

Athens, Still Remains (Derrida/1996)
A Disturbance of Memory on the Acropolis (Freud/1936)
On Memory and Recollection (Aristotle/4th century BC)


  1. Why not also read “The Symposium”? (Just a thought.)

  2. I love Lawrence Durrell on Greece in general, Bitter Lemons on Cyprus, and the atmosphere he paints with words. Travel safely and keep posting!

  3. Paul Soulellis

    Thanks James and Nancye — downloading at JFK right now!

  4. Soooo many memories… will be thinking of you. Wish I could visit with you!

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