Is this Real Life?

Previous post I’m responding to: Authent-in-one-city

Eight-Weeks-Ago Courtney (start at 1:55),

Remember going to bed as a kid, teenager, and even a few weeks ago asking if today was real? Astonished at how great life can be. Being thankful for everything you experienced and everyone who was right by your side? Do you remember physically pinching yourself to make sure you were not dreaming, but then pinching yourself in your dreams, blowing that theory out of the water?

Do you remember writing your paper for the scholarship that helped you get to Italy? Remember the sentence, “I know not everything can be put perfectly into words so that everyone may understand, but I do believe understanding can be better achieved through experience.”

Now, why am I bringing all of this up? I want you think about experience and authenticity again. In (Link to authenticity blog) you just posted, you purposely framed the claim that authenticity is place bound from a tourists perspective and not your own. I am asking YOU what you think.

Knowing that you question the authenticity in your own life and trying to confirm the realness by physical actions, what makes something authentic? Does physically feeling something make it more real than just thinking about it? Can ideas be authentic? Why do you have to “experience” something to understand? That sentence you wrote signifies that you think experience is something that requires movement and interaction rather than explanation and thoughts.

Which one's the more authentic experience? Movie or Movement in the same room?

Which one’s the more authentic experience? Movie or Movement in the same room?

Well, let me tell you what I think. I’ve learned some things from the eight weeks of experience I have on you. I now believe that you were too scared to commit your own feelings to the blog, but you do agree with your assertions. You have to be in the place. You have to walk down the same streets famous poets, painters, and plain old peasants did hundreds and hundreds of years ago to get that authentic feel. The feel that nothing has changed from its original state. And as you know, the roads have been restored, washed and new buildings have been built, but the physical place, the earth beneath all this is the same and that cannot be replaced. This is coming from your inner nature-loving self. The nature that surrounds you cannot be replaced, replicated anywhere no matter how precise new technologies can make copies. I mean, think about your time in Zadar, you’ll never be able to see waterfalls like that reduplicated with synthetic materials in Wisconsin. Or think about Venice, you’ll never see that same exact city that was built years ago on the canal, in the United States. This is all for an authentic experience.

On the other hand, there is culture in songs, dance, and food. This is more of an abstract concept. Sometimes you cannot physically touch culture, it lives in the minds of people. Do you think you could have the same experience living in “little Italy” in New York? I don’t think it would be the same because there is a whole other culture of American culture surrounding this “Little Italy” which makes it a more complex situation. So what are the guidelines to making something authentic? Do you believe you have to be in Italy to eat authentic Italian or can you get it in the United States? Does it need to be made by an Italian who learned from his Italian family or could it be a German who also learned how to cook from an Italian chef? Well I’ll leave it at that. Will it still be place bound in eight more weeks? Is the term ever-changing?

Ciao,

Courtney

POLL:

  • How many of you think authenticity is place bound?
  • If it’s not, why did you come to Italy?
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