On 11 September, I was living in Greenwich Village, New York; my children learned to tell south from north by looking at the World Trade Center.
One of my earliest memories is walking up a muddy road into the mountains. It was raining. Behind me, my village was burning. When there was school, it was under a tree. Then the United Nations came. They fed me, my family, my community.
Now, twenty years old, I come out and I go back to Greenwich Village. Now, of course, I’m a wealthy man.
Village cricket spread fast through the land.
The amount of horror one used to hear about in one village could be quite extreme. But one might not have heard about all the other villages’ horrors at the same time.
Early on, I was so impressed with Charles Dickens. I grew up in the South, in a little village in Arkansas, and the whites in my town were really mean, and rude. Dickens, I could tell, wouldn’t be a man who would curse me out and talk to me rudely.
After so many years, I feel more American than anything else, but I’m also Romanian and whatever other oddities of temperament I picked up elsewhere, in Transylvania or France, for instance. These days, everybody is both an exile and a resident – they don’t call it the global village for nothing.
My background did not start with the East Side; it started with Greenwich Village, which is West Side.
Who is a professional? A professional is someone who has a combination of competence, confidence and belief. A water diviner is a professional. A traditional midwife is a professional. A traditional bone setter is a professional. These are professionals all over the world. You find them in any inaccessible village around the world.