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Uninhibited's picture

I found it interesting how Wideman used space, time and distance as measures of success at the beginning of the book. It seems like he really reflects on his desire to separate himself not only from his neighborhood and his relationship with brother but also from his own identity. He doesn’t seem to be proud of it, but simply acknowledge the complexity, and perhaps reason as to why his relationship with his brother is so broken.


The quote that strikes me the most is on page 27 when he said, "One measure of my success was the distance I'd put between us. Coming home was a kind of bragging...It's sure fucked up around here ain't it? But look at me, I got away." I think that this quote really exemplifies the belief that success and his home stand in direct opposition, that he must leave one in order to embrace the other, even though later on the book he complicates this idea. Although I understand that there must be a refashioning of the self in order to fit into alien spaces, I don’t think that it is absolutely necessary to choose one or the other. It seems to me that the distance and the silence can in fact point not just to the fact that him and his brother are different because of his “choice to be successful” but also to the fact that the awkwardness exists because of their history and blood, because that awkwardness and guilt would not manifest itself through silence if they were not intrinsically tied.