Friday, July 4, 2008


Okay--still moving along slowly through The Satanic Verses, and have come across this word twice. I would have said that it meant something like 'haunted' or related to the spirit world, but I think I came across the phrase, 'revenant spirits', which would seem to be a bit redundant. Shall we see?

Well, it's related.


One who returns after a lengthy absence. Which would make a phrase of Rushdie's like 'the revenant tide' make sense.

One who returns after death. Which would make my own understanding of the word comprehensible.

What strikes me now is that though these are two very different experiences, we can sometimes conflate the two, so that the unexpected appearance of someone long absent can feel like someone returning from the spirit world.

I've had that experience recently.


  1. Hey Seana,
    Did you by chance visit Yugoslavia in 1981? Spend a stormy night in a tent on the island of Korcula with a couple of other female travellers? Black Lamb, Gray Falcon ring a bell??? Burek, anyone? :)

  2. Why yes, as a matter of fact I did. So, unless you are a soldier of the former Yugoslavia, you can only be one of two people. Since I'm still in touch with Kate, is this by any chance Lisa? I'd love to hear from you if so. And if it's Kate, ditto of course. If you are some soldier of the former Yugoslavian Army who happened to be eavesdropping, well, maybe not so much...

  3. Yes, it's Lisa. Great to find you again! You wrote to me many years ago and, before I had a chance to reply, my husband (or maybe he was a boyfriend then) discarded the envelope bearing your return address. I tried to find you using the means available at the time (early 1980's), but to no avail. I often think back fondly on our adventures in the former Yugoslvia. (Remember the little old lady in Split who grabbed us off the street and made us carry her groceries?) Anyway, it would be nice to catch up with you and Kate again.

  4. Fantastic to hear from you!I must say that posting a blog has had unexpected but very welcome consequences. And I find it strange and ironic that Yugoslavia is in the news again tonight with the capture of Karadich, whose name I am not spelling correctly, but whose arrest is something of a landmark day for the future of stability in the area. I never fail to think of that trip to Yugoslavia and everyone we met there when it comes up in the news, although the news is much bleaker than anything we experienced there.

    I've been working in a bookstore in Santa Cruz for what seems like forever, but obviously comes after our meeting. And Kate has been working as a paralegal in San Francisco for even longer, but has only just recently bought a house on the Russian River and is effecting her transition up there very slowly. I'd love to hear more of you and you can certainly email me at if you are so inclined. I'll pass on news to Kate. Believe me, we have revisited that tent on Korcula in conversation many a time. But I had forgotten about the little old lady until now, though it comes back to me with the memory prompt.

    Anyway, it seems that we are all coming back like revenant spirits ourselves, which was oddly the subject of this post.