Omnia Mea Mecum Porto: Exile, Culture, and the Precarity of Life
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CitationHamilton, John T. 2014. Omnia Mea Mecum Porto: Exile, Culture, and the Precarity of Life. In Ethos 27, no. 4: 95-107.
AbstractThe present article reflects on the fearful experience of political banishment by focusing on the constitution of the exile’s identity and its precarious relationship to property, be it one’s possessions, one’s body, or even one’s very own life. To this end, the analyses consider published statements and texts by three authors – Thomas Mann, Walter Benjamin, and Herta Müller – who all have recourse to the Stoic dictum omnia mea mecum porto to express sentiments of varying intent and ramifications. A number of questions emerge: Is one’s culture transportable beyond the native home? Can it be successfully embodied or does it break down beneath the weight of totalitarianism? In brief: Is culture capable of addressing concrete fears of lost community, material contingency, or the fragility of mortal existence?
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:22557400
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