Otherwhere is not only an archaic term for “elsewhere”, meaning “in or to another place”. Otherwhere, more than elsewhere, seems to allude to a dimension Other, to a place which is not just a physical location, nor is simply “another” place, as caught in a series of many small “other” places; otherwhere refers to a place which is always, radically Other to anything “else”, a place which is not possible to exhaust with a description, a place that always preserve some mystery and yet always reminds us where we come from.
No place exists in the so called external reality. Where is Europe? And where is Hong Kong? They don’t exist if not within a story, along a telling; what is a city, what is a landscape, and where is the horizon? All these words are nothing but metaphors. A city is not a matter of space, but rather a matter of time. There is nothing like a “natural” place; a city is made by its dispositive, its people, by the surprises and the stories that arise. In Hong Kong I have found the myth of Babel, where everyone speaks his own language, and the myth of Pentecost where everyone understands in his own language. Hong Kong is my place Other. The Cantonese language constitutes a barrier that I don’t want to remove, but rather preserve, as to keep this structural difference, this radical otherness. Hong Kong is a port, a flavored port from which we can go back to Greece, to Europe, and retrace the foundations of the western discourse in which we are caught. A place Other is by definition a place one cannot become expert of, but still can frequent it. Frequenting the Other, the unconscious, is an exercise of life, toward the quality of things. A place Other is out of the geographic coordinates, it does not exist on any map; it can only come, unexpected, along a journey, along the way. It can only exist as a discovery, in the surprise. The place Other depends by the disposition of our word, and yet is what make us proceed along a telling; it’s what poses us the most intriguing questions, questions that can only remain opened, like a journey that cannot terminate. The boat that bring me sailing between the Mediterranean and Hong Kong is named Psychoanalysis; sometimes speedboat, sometimes raft, still it’s the only that guarantees some direction, even though we only can acknowledge the direction when we arrive. Is it possible to impose a direction to the journey? No, the journey proceeds independently by our will. We always fail to recognize that the direction is given by the word: we go where our telling, and not our will, leads us. We know that only taking care of the word we might land the right port (thus, not the one we had in mind). And psychoanalysis is the best way I know for taking care of the word.