3 April 2010

“As far as one journeys, as much as a man sees, from the turrets of the Taj Mahal to the Siberian wilds, he may eventually come to an unfortunate conclusion—usually while he’s lying in bed, starting at the thatched ceiling of some substandard accommodations in Indochina,” writes Swithin in his last book, the posthumously published Whereabouts, 1917 (1918). “It is impossible to rid himself of the relentless, cloying fever commonly known as Home. After seventy-three years of anguish I have found a cure, however. You must go home again, grit your teeth and however arduous the exercise, determine, without embellishment, your exact coordinates at Home, your longitudes and latitudes. Only then will you stop looking back and see the spectacular view in front of you.”

Special Topics in Calamity Physics, Marisha Pessl

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