The Many Homelands of the Mind

By Sarah Hoenicke for the Punch

old_house-LARGETwo literary journals, in their recent issues, put together interesting perspectives on home and belonging

Home. Homestead. Homemade. Homegrown. Homeland. Homesick. At home. To home in on—clearly, the concept of home invades much of our thinking, and so, too, our language. Home signifies interior; to be away from it, exterior. To be without a home: homeless; to be forced out of one’s home: displaced. Home and its linguistic relatives imply unity and kinship, but its opposites scatter into unrelated forms, just as those without homeland must scatter to places unrelated to their pasts — foreign, outside, away.

For a concept that’s so integral to our thinking, how is it we’re so bad at providing its real counterpart to people? At recognizing its lack, and the effects of that absence?

Two recently released issues of the literary journals Chicago Quarterly Review and Freeman’s contain in their 700 combined pages many lifetimes worth of perspective on home and belonging.

The range of writing here is such that many readers will find themselves stopping for breath between entries. The talent and beauty is, at times, overwhelming, as is the cruelty and suffering conveyed.

Continue reading here.