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The unsettled self: creative practice and the nomadic poetics of a contemporary flâneur
chapterposted on 01.01.2019, 00:00 authored by Paul VenzoPaul Venzo
Migrants and their children are often ‘unsettled’ from their ancestral homelands, caught between identification with one culture and another. This chapter explores the experience of in-between-ness that this kind of relationship generates. The author focuses on his own connections to Venice and the Veneto: a site in which he identifies himself as an insider/outsider—a familiar-stranger to his own past. By referring to theories of nomadism, in-between-ness and translation, it is argued that writing in situ is a creative act that connects the self to various terrains; linguistic, literary, historical, ancestral, real and imagined. In so doing, the writer enacts and embodies what can be thought of as a contemporary form of flânerie. This form of creative wandering is in turn a mechanism through which poetry is created, affording the author a method through which he maps subjectivity onto the terrain across which he roams, and a means to engage in processes of de- and re-colonisation that ‘resettle’ the self in time and space.