The "Real Voyage of Discovery": Auto/Biography, Reflexivity and Spiritual Journeying


  • Maria Pallotta-Chiarolli


The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes. Marcel Proust The auto/biography Someone You Know (Pallotta-Chiarolli, 1991) is a voyage into the lives and worlds of two people. Jon is in a gay relationship; he is from an Anglo-Saxon Seventh Day Adventist background. Maria is a feminist, married, and from an Italian-Catholic background. They are teachers at a single-sex Catholic boys' school in Adelaide. Despite, and perhaps because of, their differences, and framed by the Catholic setting of the school and the ethnic and gay subcultural settings of their worlds outside the school, they become strong friends: their various worlds and emotional and spiritual journeys begin to interweave. This "real voyage of discovery" begins to appear part of some larger pre-destined tapestry as Jon discovers he has AIDS and Maria discovers she is pregnant. The book follows their interwoven emotional and spiritual journeys to birth/death and the discoveries that await them at their points of arrival.