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Lost Children Archive – last post :(

I think this novel is still one of the most interestingly written out of the books we’ve read throughout the course. To me, the nameless feature is still fascinating, and I struggle to find the purpose of this, although, I may have made some headway. I think I mentioned this last Thursday during our discussion, but it seems that this novel is attempting to give a voice to those who are normally silenced. This was referenced when we were talking about Box III and Box XI; while Box III consisted of famous novels that are well studied while Box XI consists of seemingly nonsense words and sounds. To me, it seems that Luiselli wants to bring consciousness to the fact that it is not only important to pay attention to and be aware of those world-renowned novels written by famous authors, but also the little stories and sounds and riddles that are present by the lesser known, by those who may not be famous and popular; they are just as important. I think the nameless feature has a similar function; perhaps the characters are nameless because refugees in the real world are often depersonalized. They are often referred to as “they”, or “trespassers”, “foreigners” or simply “refugees”. Their names are often erased or changed or forgotten. But by the end of the novel, Luisellini not only gave the main family names, but the lost children as well. More than that, she gave them all made up names, making them equal and on the same playing ground; adults or children, refugees or citizens, they were more or less equal. This may seem like a small or miniscule point or detail of the book, but I found it rather clever and fascinating.

Although there is a lot more to say about the novel, I wanted to take the rest of my blog to just reflect on this term and state my appreciation and thankfulness for this course. This is definitely not the way I thought I would be graduating, however, I wanted to thank all of you for making one of my last classes of undergrad so amazing. Even in this time of uncertainty and chaos, this class has kept me sane and inspired to keep my head up and make the best out of a strange situation. I wanted to do a big shoutout to Jon for being so awesome and accommodating with the switch online, as well as being such an amazing prof for inspiring thought-provoking discussions throughout the entirety of the term – thank you so much. I honestly learned so much from each and every one of you during our class discussions, and I found it super interesting how, although we were all drawn to the same course, we all come from different backgrounds and had such unique and valuable points to offer. We might be done our blog posts and perhaps tomorrow is our last “in person” group discussion, but I hope we can all keep in touch and maybe have a video chat here and there to all catch up. Overall, thank all of you for making this last term super memorable and awesome – love you all!


One thought on “Lost Children Archive – last post :(

  1. Hi, Madeson, I’m belatedly commenting on this final post of yours (and I apologize for that delay). I want to say, first, how much I’ve appreciated your contributions throughout the semester–both on the blog and in class. It is very heartening to read you say that “this class has kept me sane and inspired to keep my head up and make the best out of a strange situation.” I am so glad that we (the other students and I) have managed to have that effect. It would be great sometime to catch up as you suggest.

    On Lost Children Archive, I’m pleased that you liked it. I agree that it was, for me too, the most interesting text we read over the semester. I agree that the question of naming (or not naming) was particularly fascinating. And I think you make a really good point that the book is designed to return a sense of personhood to those who have somehow lost it or had it denied to them. And that to achieve that, Luiselli’s point is indeed that we need to pay attention to those (often almost imperceptible) sounds and voices that are often almost as lost as the people to whom they belong to.


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