Thursday, July 20, 2023

The Foreigner

Trump popularized the fear of immigrants and outsiders and there is that wonderful word that derives from the name of a Norwegian turncoat, Quisling. Xenophobia is the fear of aliens. But what and who are Foreigners? The Foreigner sounds like the title of a George Simenon novel. Foreigners are more benign. They don’t seek asylum, citizenship or green cards. You don’t have to spend the money to feed them in holding pens or ship them off to liberal hideaways like Martha's Vineyard, where summer rentals command astronomical prices. Foreigners are tourists who are welcome since they go to The Statue of Liberty, The Empire State and Mount Rushmore and spend money. Here's a simple equation which will help you to differentiate the wheat from the chaff. While Foreigners’ balance sheets are in the black, your average immigrant's is in the red. Wetback is a derogative term for impoverished Mexicans who come to these shores, as generations have, seeking freedom and prosperity. Foreigner is also a term that can be used to describe how outsiders feel. If you suffer from Capgras and think imposters are embedded in familiar faces or Prosopagnosia where you can’t recognize faces, then you’re a likely candidate for the BrechtianVerfremdungseffekt or the Umheimlichkeit that both Heidegger and Freud described. The immigrant aspires for citizenship while The Foreigner aims forThe Times bestseller list.

read the Kirkus review of The Kafka Studies Department by Francis Levy

and also read Joan Baum's NPR review of The Kafka Studies Department

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