Paul Bowls was one of America’s great ex-pat writers of the 20 century. Check out some of his classic novels. His works aren’t exactly nihilistic but his themes centralize the feelings that none of us are living our lives on terra firma but wallow in an ocean of sand..
In a 1975 interview, the poet Daniel Halpern asked the author and composer Paul Bowles why he’d spent such a significant chunk of his life scrambling about the globe. I imagine Bowles’s speaking voice here as matter-of-fact, exegetic: “I’ve always wanted to get as far as possible from the place where I was born,” he answered (that place was Flushing, Queens, in 1910; he was the only child of a rancorous, unloving father and a meek, bookish mother). “Far both geographically and spiritually. To leave it behind. One belongs to the whole world, not just one part of it.”
What was Bowles…
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