Writers From the Peace Corps: The Lost Generation, Part Fourteen

Myth and mythology
Finally we come back to Gertrude Stein’s famous comment to Hemingway. “You are all a lost generation,” she told him. The truth is that Stein had heard her French garage owner speak of his young auto mechanics and their poor repair skills as “une génération perdue.”
All Gertrude Stein wanted was competent mechanics to repair her car but Hemingway, seizing the expression, as any good writer would, identified a literary movement and a new way of looking at the world.
     Peace Corps writers do the same by bringing the world back home through their own writing. They have an understanding of parts of the world few Americans will ever know. And as PCVs they have a “way of looking at this world” that is new and fresh and insightful. Fulfilling the Third Goal of the Peace Corps means telling your tales at home.
     So, see how far you can go with a good line or two.
     Begin today.

One Comment

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  • John, this is a wonderful series you are doing on Peace Corps writers, and one that is well needed. So many volunteers have had a major impact on contemporary writing, that it is important to document their contributions to world culture. Keep up the good work.
    For any of your readers going to the 2011 AWP Conference in Washington, D. C. in February, look for the panel on Peace Corps poets to see how their Peace Corps experiences has influenced their writing.

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