September 14, 2007

At Home in Global America: Junot Diaz (Part III)

At Home in Global America: Junot Diaz (Part III)

junotcropped1Junot Diaz is an authority on the new realities of immigration: “unstable, here-and-there… something cool for an artist to deal with: a whole community jumping back and forth, like shuttles on the loom, strengthening connections in both places.” He has vented furiously before this on the stalemate in U.S. immmigration policy. Our politics wouldn’t have seized on immigration he said if we weren’t trying to distract ourselves from a war we can’t talk about. “It’s screwy, bro,” he says. “Even Ahab,” the embodiment of American excess, “wasn’t that crazy. Ahab wasn’t about to walk his harpooners off his boat, as ‘foreigners’ and ‘savages.’” Our immigration “debate” sounds, he says, like “madness beyond anything Melville could have imagined.”

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