Homecoming

 

“The natives, they [John Fenwick and his family] looked upon as savages in a literal sense, and dreaded the necessity of any intercourse with them; regarding the wild beasts of the forest with less fear, and more easily controlled. Under these circumstances did our ancestors turn their ship from the ocean into Delaware bay and ascend the river, ignorant of where should be their abiding place.” — Thomas Shourds, History and Genealogy of Fenwick’s Colony, New Jersey (1876)

from J.A. Baker’s The Peregrine

“Like the seafarer, the peregrine lives in a pouring-away world of no attachment, a world of wakes and tilting, of sinking planes of land and water. We who are anchored cannot envisage this freedom of the eye. The peregrine sees and remembers patterns we do not know exist: the neat squares of orchard and woodland, the endlessly varying quadrilateral shapes of fields. He finds his way across the land by a succession of remembered symmetries.”

from César Aira’s Ema, the Captive

“… a novel could be written about those changes in color in the sky and the transformations of the clouds between, say, six and eight, so long as the author confined himself to the most rigorous realism. The resulting novel, a report on atmospheric colors, shifts, and flows, would be the apotheosis of life’s futility. Why not? A supremely stupid saga; the world was ripe for such a work, or would be by the time he finished writing it… ‘Adventures,’ he said to himself, ‘are always adventures in boredom.'”