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What I See When I Look Over My Shoulder

My father became a more brilliant story-teller as he got older and his memory made gaps which he was free to fill in as he wished. I hated it. I wanted facts, true history, documentary evidence. I'm older now. The past is a place half recognizable, half not. "A foreign country," novelist L.P. Hartley called it. To me, it seems like a fairy tale. Dreams masquerade as memories, and history is another form of invention. There is documentary evidence in these pictures, true history, but I can't see what is directly behind me. I can only glance sidelong, over each shoulder, with one eye and then another. Remembering is a matter of looking askance.

From the photo series, Another Country, at

Posted by Ariel Swartley on 9/28/13

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