|Random drawing found on Drawception. Love it!|
You know where we are. You do. Even Uncle Lud...declares there's no need to tell you where we are. You've heard of this place. The news was all over it for a while. And they'll be back, Uncle Lud guesses. That's the thing about places like this. People come here to get lost, but all that means is that they want to do whatever they'd like without anyone interfering....
If we give the name, if we say, here we are in Canada, in Terrace or Kaslo or Avola, or we tell you that here we are hidden away like a bunch of bush bunnies in Alberta, you'll say, nah, I passed through there on my holidays or my aunt lived near Smithers or my entire band's been here for more generations than your family has years, and that's not the Terrace or Kaslo or the Peace I know. And you'd be right...."This accomplishes about a million different things but here are the top 3, I think:
For Harun's purposes, this is a great way of negotiating specificity and universality and somehow making it all ten times more interesting--it's also a great way of making the setting support a novel with a very complex voice and narrative. Or, as Leo says, "You see, here's a place where a singular story won't suffice, if one ever could."
- It's a clever way of making the tale feel even more universal and magical.
- It points out that the minute we identify a place (especially if we already do happen to know that city, town, or country),we think we know it and will make all kinds of assumptions--even in fiction, and more surprisingly, even if we live there in real life!
- It implies that, despite the anonymity Leo offers, we really do know the specific place he speaks of, but we will pretend we don't so we don't have to acknowledge any potential responsibility or complicity.
Quotes from my Kindle version: Adrianne Harun. A Man Came Out of a Door in the Mountain. New York, NY: Penguin Books; 2014.