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London Review of Books  - the little shop that makes my heart sault

London Review of Books: 28 Little Russell Street, London WC1A 2HN

LRB offers annual subscription rates and Christmas approaching could be a good place to start

The end of the year article is about an acknowledgement to places and readings of interest. It is personal unlike previous articles in more general terms. 

I have a great affinity towards this book shop - think it not many or not enough like it. I discovered it in early 2000 and since that time, I do my best to visit it whenever I can  - unfortunately not as often as I used to. Many of my books have been purchased there - all scholarly written and very few novels, but maybe that is why I appreciate it more. 

I have next to me one such sample by Julia Kristeva (1991) entitled "Strangers to ourselves", translated by Leon S. Roudiez and published by Columbia University Press. Very recently I needed a reminder on some concepts and I decided to share as end of the year blog.

In one of its pages, Kristeva makes some outstanding remarks on "By what Right are you a foreigner?" and here is my selected extract:

" ... And yet, do we have any other recourse against the commonplace and its brutality except to take our distance by plunging into it - but in our minds - confronting it - but indirectly?

.... The more so as we are all in the process of becoming foreigners in a universe that is being widened more than ever, that is more than ever heterogeneous beneath its apparent scientific and media-inspired unity". Kristeva,p.104.

And my favourite other:

" ... Henceforth, we know that we are foreigners to ourselves, and it is with the help of that sole support that we can attempt to live with others." Kristeva. p.170

The above speaks to me as end of year thought and as recently published a text about strategies in therapy and strategies as self-help - I think it as representative  to what I had in mind. I think at LRB as a bookshop, but also as a literary magazine with  worldwide outreach . Perhaps in that I read unity, perhaps in that I read Kristeva again. 

My good news to myself for end of year 2021 is that I have decided on retirement from active duty in October 2020 and since, I did not take up golf or learned Russian, but I am pretty close to be just charmed by new challenges such as learning a new skill. Retiring at height of  a profession and some three decades prematurely, it feels me with Joy. On that aspect, I was a stranger to myself, of course, I shall continue my private practice  - but it is far from a must.

Have a good end to your year whatever you do/read.

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