Paul Carter
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Human symbols, doubled identities
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The experience of creative encounter navigated through a migrant ethnography develops new perspectives applicable to the reinterpretation of the Western tradition. This is illustrated by my engagement with classical sites and their literature in Italy. A brief discussion of my creative encounter with the classical site of Paestum (southern Italy) leads to a ’migrant reading’ of Plato’s Symposium, where my role there is compared to that of Aristodemus, the ‘stranger at the feast’; this leads to a résumé of the migrant as human symbolon, a half person who lives metaphorically in search of the other. Because of this, it is suggested that, in the creative encounter, ethnography and aesthetics habitually fuse. Recalling the Prelude’s discussion of Oedipus, Translations makes the case for identifying migrant incompleteness (division as doubling) as a form of sovereignty that contains, rather than splits, others (voices, places, ghosts and hosts).

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Translations, an autoethnography

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