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Ever Learning To Dwell

Overview

My dissertation begins with a concern in contemporary literature and scholarship that, as we enter the twenty-first century, a meaningful experience of space and place is doomed to extinction. Critics such as Leo Marx and Roderick Nash have equated the centrality of place with a uniquely "American" literature. American texts about place, however, are increasingly anxious that the place in question is disappearing and that an emotional, psychological, and historical connection to place is no longer possible. I ...
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Overview

My dissertation begins with a concern in contemporary literature and scholarship that, as we enter the twenty-first century, a meaningful experience of space and place is doomed to extinction. Critics such as Leo Marx and Roderick Nash have equated the centrality of place with a uniquely "American" literature. American texts about place, however, are increasingly anxious that the place in question is disappearing and that an emotional, psychological, and historical connection to place is no longer possible. I argue that literature---viewed through the lens of space theorists like Henri Lefebvre, Michel de Certeau, Martin Heidegger, and Michel Foucault---offers a way to transform the relationship between subjects and space by considering, accepting, revising, and resisting gendered spaces and regulations. This relationship is thus made sustainable, livable and, more importantly, "habitable." My readings of literary texts (e.g. Sarah Orne Jewett's Deephaven, Wallace Stegner's Angle of Repose, Toni Morrison's Paradise, and contemporary haunted house narratives) illuminate how space theory often fails to account for the importance of gender and the ways texts can resist and subvert spatialized gender praxis. By taking a diverse historical, textual and theoretical approach to the question of the relationship between the subject and space, "Ever Learning to Dwell" counters much of the work in literary criticism that either gestures nostalgically towards a lost "place attachment" or dismisses the importance of a subjective connection to space altogether.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781243492197
  • Publisher: BiblioLabsII
  • Publication date: 9/2/2011
  • Pages: 62
  • Product dimensions: 7.44 (w) x 9.69 (h) x 0.13 (d)

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