• But perhaps more important, as someone wishing to make a comment or two about contemporary life and values, I don't have to dig through libraries or travel to exotic lands to arrive at a view of our modern situation refracted through the lens of the preindustrial world, or the uncommercialized, unfranchised, perhaps unsanitized-and therefore supposedly more "authentic"-perspective ofthe Third World. Very simply, this is because that "other" world, as alien as if separated by centuries in time, is the one from which I came