Four Ideas about Home

Four Brief Thoughts on Home:

These ideas on home might help us prepare for our first formal essay.


Maya Angelou (American Author and Poet): “I believe that one can never leave home. I believe that one carries the shadows, the dreams, the fears and the dragons of home under one’s skin, at the extreme corners of one’s eyes and possibly in the gristle of the earlobe.” (from Letter to My Daughter, by Maya Angelou. New York: Random House, 2009).


Gaston Bachelard (French Sociologist): The home is our “first universe” and our “first world.” Such space is important, but size does not matter; a simple hut has more dream potential than a mansion. What matters is the degree of intimacy and intensity of our experience there. (from The Fate of Place, by Edward S. Casey. Berkeley: U of California P, 1998. 290)


Svetlana Boym (Russian-American Literary Critic): “To feel at home is to know that things are in their places and so are you; it is a state of mind that doesn’t depend on an actual location.” (from The Future of Nostalgia, by Svetlana Boym. New York: Basic, 2001. 251)


Immanuel Levinas (Lithuanian-French Philosopher): “The privileged role of the home does not consist in being the end of human activity but in being its condition, and in this sense its commencement.” What is accomplished by the home? These four: our ability for recollection, our ability to have intimacy, our ability to work, and our ability to make representations of the world. (from Totality and Infinity, by Immanuel Levinas. Pittsburgh: Duquesne UP, 1969. 152-4.)

Best wishes,

Prof.  Scanlan

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