In Search of an lnner Eden
Les vrais paradis sont les paradis qu’on a perdus. (Marcel Proust)
To set foot on an Island is perilous. All expectations and preconceptions must withstand the brutal test of real experience.
Islands are distant places; an effort must be made to reach them. Their remoteness evokes the idea of travel, of passage; “a system of openings and closings” that makes an island isolated and yet penetrable at the same time.
It would appear that an Island – perhaps because of its very insularity and far-away-ness – is preordained to be a projection surface for literary content, and has been just this more or less continuously from early mythology right up to the utopian, exotic and adventure literature of modern times. Linked to the paradigms of the travel tales of Antiquity and the Kelts, to idyllic places of longing, to the idea of the utopian state and to Robinsonade, the island space represents neutral testing ground for idealistic concept and poetical fantasy.
Ulysses’ islands are a series of disappointments as his projections are shattered one after the other. Although he finds his home in the end, his journey is the epitome of futility and human disenchantment.
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