A foreigner

I don’t usually cry, but I did unexpectedly one morning in 2022, reading a book, not a sad one, but an architectural book. I borrowed Beatriz Colomina’s book, Privacy and publicity, from the college library. I had no previous knowledge about her, other than she had written a book and her area is architecture. Wrongly, I assumed she had a Hispanic background and was from the US, so English would be her first language. It turns out she is from Valencia, Spain, and has been living in the States for a long time. It was the prologue that made me cry.

The moment we start writing, language takes us on an excursion of its own. And if that language is not ours, we are definitely in foreign territory. (…) Lately, I have started to feel that way about Spanish. I have managed to become a foreigner in both languages’.

This was a feeling I could perfectly understand, that resonated with me on a personal level and made me feel close to a woman I had never seen or met, a woman I knew little about.

January 26, 2023