Borderlands are physically present wherever two or more cultures edge each other… Living on borders and in margins, keeping intact one’s shifting multiple identity and integrity, is like trying to swim in a new element, an “alien” element…not comfortable but home.
Displacement is an exile from older certitudes of meaning, a possibly permanent sojourn in the wilderness.
– Mark Krupnik
cited in Pictures of a displaced girlhood, by Marianne Hirsch in Displacements- cultural identities in question, Angelika Bammer (ed.) 1994, p. 71
There is no language change without emotional consequences. Principally: loss. That language equals home, that language is a home, as surely as a roof over one’s head is a home, and that to be without a language, or to be between languages, is as miserable in its way as to be without bread. There are languages in which we feel our mother’s heart beating; other languages in which we feel distant and safe; other languages- jargon languages in particular- are the language of professional ambition and achievement; others the language of pain. […]
Language is the place where our bodies and minds collide, where our groundedness in place and time and our capacity for fantasy and invention must come to terms.
From ‘On Language Memoir’, by Alice Yaeger Kaplan in Displacements – cultural identities in question, Angelika Bammer (ed.) 1994, pp. 64-65
The effect of mass migrations has been the creation of radically new types of human being: people who root themselves in ideas rather than places, in memories as much as in material things; people who have been obliged to define themselves – because they are so defined by others – by their otherness; people in whose deepest selves strange fusions occur, unprecedented unions between what they were and where they find themselves.
– Salman Rushdie
Cited in “Coming Home” on the Fourth of July – Constructing Immigrant Identities by Panivong Norindr in Displacements – cultural identities in question, Angelika Bammer (ed.) 1994, p.233