Stories

Julia Halprin Jackson

United States

  • Geographic Location: North America
  • Languages: English, Spanish


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My mother Lyra Halprin and I outside of El Saler, near Valencia, Spain.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009 3:21 PM

Exhibition in my family comes in the form of personalized vocabulary. We are the most eloquent-- and the most ourselves--when we use words we have made up ourselves. My maternal grandmother grew up speaking Yiddish in a Jewish household in Cleveland, Ohio, which later translated into Finklestein, a watered-down dialect used specifically between my mom, my dog, and me. The words have no linguistic meaning, but rather rely on a powerful emotional oompf. These nonsensical words may sound unimportant, but I first realized their true power when I studied abroad in Granada, Spain, as a junior in college.

Exhibiting me means exhibiting my family, which, at its very essence, means exhibiting the meaning we translate from nonsense.


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