In grad school, I once took a course on the history of European peasantries. Fear not! This blog is not about that... but I did read then a line which has stuck with me ever since. Anthropologist Robert Redfield wrote in The Little Community, "The first impressions of any human community are often clear and--at the moment--very convincing. The time to write a book about the national character of a people other than one's own is in the first weeks of the first acquaintance with them." In other words, never again will you be so sure (whether you're justified or not!) that you truly understand what makes them unique.
It's been over 10 years since I started coming to Venice, Italy and 5 since I moved to Maine to teach history at a "small leading Catholic liberal arts college." And I freely admit, I may well understand both places less every day. But, as you'll see, for better or for worse, I at least never stop grappling to understand here, there, or myself in between...
Hence, this blog. (My brain's full, so the rest has to go somewhere.)
Thanks for your kind attention!
Best wishes! Michelle
Categories: Blogs, Venice, Italy, Maine&NewEngland