Asked his opinion on Zionism, Franz Kafka replied,“What do I care about Zionism? I have nothing in common with the Jews! In fact I have nothing in common with myself… “
Of course the greatest irony in that declaration by the master ironist is this: in severing his connection to that wandering tribe, he embeds himself more fully in their tradition of metaphysical doubt.
And one needn’t be of Abraham’s line to feel that doubt: any immigrant, of any culture, has much to say on the question, “Who am I, in this strange place?”
‘…and no one remembers your name,/ when you’re strange…’
I was 17 years old when I left my parent’s house, 22 when I left America, and I haven’t lived there since. From the time I set foot in the Old World to today, in the Puglian countryside outside of Ostuni, it’s been almost 40 years.
I’ve lived almost twice as long in Europe, as I have in America, most of that time in Italy. I dream in three languages. I feel more “at home” here, than I do there. But no Italian, hearing me speak, will ever mistake me for Italian. I will always be “l’americano” (often “l’inglese”– same difference), or more generically, “lo straniero, the stranger.”
Who am I, in this place? Looking around, we realized that our “Puglian Cultural Center” La Luna nel Pozzo is manned (‘womanned? Peopled?”) by one Swiss, one American, one Senegalese, one Sardinian, one Argentinean, one Abruzzen and but one lonely Puglian.
That’s when we realized that this year’s Winter Fires edition of TEATRI DI TERRA (‘theaters of earth’), subtitled ERRARE CIRCOLARE*, will be dedicated to this: the unique dance born when different cultures meet.
We want to offer, not just any old play with any old meal, but a real immersion in different cultures in which music, food, and story work together to evoke the many worlds which each of us carries.
The first appointment, November 24, is Bob’s SUPERMAN & ME in the original English! The director’s cut, accompanied by Hamburgers and French Fries! American music from the ’60’s! and Original McNeer Family Home Movies!
Be there or be Square!
Here’s my personal take on our unusual title:
the verb ERRARE informs both the word ‘error’, and ‘errant’, as in the quest of the ‘errant knight’. ‘CIRCOLARE‘, of course gives us ‘circle’, from which ‘circle around’, as in ‘circle road’, but also ‘circle in’, as the errant knight ‘circles in’ to the mystery of the holy grail. It seems the labyrinth finds its origin in the ‘questing dances’ of the ancient mysteries.