CHRONOTOPE OF RETURN: THE ATTEMPT TO REGAIN TIME THROUGH SPACE
CHRONOTOP POWROTU: PRÓBA ODZYSKANIA CZASU PRZEZ PRZESTRZEŃ
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A person does not have to be an exile in order to be in search of lost time as Marcel Proust has famously confirmed. However, for the exile, lost time is more salient because it is demarcated by the particular moment of departure from a specific place: home. While nostalgia of home seeks to conserve a place in time, the return attempts to recap-ture time through regaining space. The exile returns home in order to, once and for all, anchor a wandering identity to a particular place and time or, in other words, to recapture the former self attached to the exile’s chronotope of home. The traces that the native space has left on the exile are imprinted as memory, gradually amplified to what Walter Benjamin refers to as aura: “In the trace, we gain possession of the thing; in the aura, it takes possession of us”. However, with the loss of distance, imaginary or physical, the aura of home may be lost. It is precisely this aura that is tested upon the exile’s return. The return may reveal a different reflection than anticipated: neither the person nor the space recognize one another. Though infinitely connected, time and space cannot be regained interchangeably.
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