Incentive 3

AM00000090000003031 15: 2012 § Leave a comment

Home: 2 Thoughts

1. My dear colleague and friend Yanni Eleftherakos – in his dissertation “home!?” – writes the following in relationship to Blunt & Dowling (2006):
Alison Blunt and Robyn Dowling (2006) in their book “Home”, suggest the following: “Home”, they write, “is a place, a site in which we live. But more than this, home is also an idea and an imaginary that is imbued with feelings. These may be feelings of belonging, desire and intimacy […], but can also be feelings of fear, violence and alienation”.

So […] we are invited to also consider it [home] an idea and an imaginary and take into account that there could be, just as well, negative feelings associated with it, thus further broadening its meaning.
[The writers] conclude that “Home is thus a spatial imaginary: a set of intersecting and variable ideas and feelings, which are related to context, and which construct places, extend across spaces and scales, and connect places” […].

2. Home: A personal observation

Originally being from Austria, my native language is German. I have listened to English more than half my life, I have read original English books rather than translations of English books as long as I can think and finally I have moved to London to study & work there. In English, of course.

In all this, I have developed a certain interest in the English language. One of the things that struck me – and continue to do so – is that in English it seems that very often a word can have several meanings; meanings for which there are several words in German.
“Home” is one such word.
Among several other things – and if we want to trust – , “home” is translated to German as “Haus”, “Heim” and “Heimat”. Three very distinct things.

“Haus”, is obviously the house. An object which is quite material.
“Heim” is more or less an idea based on this object. My “Heim” is where I physically and spatially enclosed I live in. “Make yourself at home” would most probably be expressing most closely what “Heim” can mean.

But… “Heim” “an also be a quite technical term and one that could be seen as oppressing and enclosing. A “Kinderheim” is an orphanage. A “Altenheim” or even more negatively sounding “Altersheim” is a home for the elderly.

Finally, “Heimat” might be simply translated as “homeland”, the country of origin. But, “Heimat” is much more connotated, much more loaded with meaning. “Heimat” is the national “home”, the nation.

These are just observations about the word “home” that continue to strike me. Therefore, “home””to me is not a word, it is a concept with different meanings and different ideas.

Can it all be broken down to one?

Can it all be shown in one sentence, image, sound?

Blunt, A. & Dowling, R. (2006): Home. Abingdon, Oxon. UK: Routledge.


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