No strangers

“. . .There are no strangers. There are only versions of ourselves, many of which we have not embraced, most of which we wish to protect ourselves from. For the stranger is not foreign, she is random, not alien, but remembered; and it is the randomness of the encounter with our already known–although unacknowledged–selves that summons a ripple of alarm. That makes us reject the figure and the emotions it provokes–especially when these emotions are profound. It is also what makes us want to own, govern, administrate the Other. To romance her, if we can, back to our own mirrors. In either instance (of alarm of false reverence), we deny her personhood, the specific individuality we insist upon ourselves.”

– Toni Morrison, Intro. to Bergman, A Kind of Rapture, 1998

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