Incentive 3

Incentive 3 by Johannes Rigal

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.


§ 3 Responses to Incentive 3

  • Reading through several contributions brought me to thinking about homes when people are going through transitions of life changing and chaotic nature- war, domestic violence…Below is a response. I posted it here but it is inspired by most of the contributions. Sabes

    Transient Home

    Home is a sanctuary.
    A place of security and protection.
    A place of comfort.
    Memories of which one treasures for life.

    When you are transient;
    Fleeing from your home,
    Where is home?
    What is home?

    In those temporary and transient places
    By some luck
    Some things
    Some people
    Helped you to go on
    Live on
    Survive the traumas
    Come out of them
    To breath life again
    To see light again.
    Then they are homes.
    Strips of land,
    Friends’ couches
    Those things,
    Those people,
    The comforting words,
    Kind embaces
    That helped move on
    Did what homes do.
    Shelter, Protect, Cover,
    Help breath for another day
    Move me to A new day.

    Missing all these,
    If cruelty dealt its blow
    In the transient moment
    Where I fall
    is my home as well as a resting place.

  • The land cries.

    There was war.
    People were displaced.
    There were shelters for them.
    They died in them in their thousands.
    Now the the land cries.

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