Peeling Off the Layers of National, Cultural and Personal Identity

January 31, 2010

I think your site is amazing in its comprehensiveness and the depth of coverage. I commend you on this eye on the world that you’ve single-handedly built. How do you keep this tower of information aloft?

You have quite an interesting background, actually. What an intersection of political and historical viewpoints with your German and Israeli backgrounds. I am fascinated by that, because I have always been perplexed by the nature of national and cultural identity, and how they intertwine with our other personal allegiances. This could be great fodder for a symposium or two.

[…] I experience a similar cultural dissociation. I was born in Kiev, raised in New York and constantly drawn to the mythical “other”-which for me represented anything that had to do with foreign cultures or languages. I studied languages voraciously in and out of school, and I still do, but that does not make me feel any more at home in this culture or any other. I also think I romanticized Europe quite a bit, until I started to peel the layers of the onion, and the reality of past and present history, just like the onion analogy, make one want to cry.

— Alex Twersky, New York


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