A brief Twitter exchange just now reminds me of an ongoing literary injustice that has bothered me for quite some time. Up until now I’ve just pushed it aside, but it may be time to make some noise about it and perhaps right a bit of wrong.
Here is the exchange:
The most likely explanation is that Mr. Berry used the line “If you don’t know where you are, you don’t know who you are” in the presence of Mr. Stegner, who then repeated it as a Berry original. In fact, Mr. Berry was probably quoting from Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man (a very memorable and important moment near the end of that great novel).
If you happen to stumble upon this present post here at MWBoK—and you can shed more light on the origins of this problem, please do so.
Here is Mr. Stegner's "Sense of Place" which opens with the sentence in question.