— The Erimtan Angle —


The interwebz are an utterly amazing tool, a tool allowing its users to discover the world in ways that were unimaginable just a decade or so ago. Tonight, I became acquainted with the British-born essayist and novelist Pico Iyer through listening to Radio 4’s Book at Bedtime on the BBC iPlayer, as I currently far removed from the British Isles . . . His latest book The Man Within My Head was being read, and the words and sentences I heard immediately struck a chord within me . . . As a result, I did a search on Google and stumbled across his personal website, which reproduced the below video clip.

As a constant stranger in a strange land myself, I feel that Iyer’s words do really strike me as quite truthful, reminding me of Salman Rushdie’s phrase that trees, not men, have roots: “And I have a theory that the resentments we mohajirs engender have something to do with our conquest of the force of gravity. We have performed the act of which all men anciently dream, the thing for which they envy the birds; that is to say, we have flown. I am comparing gravity with belonging. Both phenomena observably exist: my feet stay on the ground . . . to explain why we stay attached to our birthplaces we pretend that we are trees and speak of roots. Look at your feet. You will not find gnarled growths sprouting through the soles. Roots, I sometimes think, are a conservative myth, designed to keep us in our places”.[1]

[1] “Migration, Character, and Event in Salman Rushdie’s Shame” The Literature and Culture of Pakistan in the Postcolonial Web. http://www.postcolonialweb.org/pakistan/literature/rushdie/migrant.html.


Comments on: "Pico Iyer: A Portable Life" (4)

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