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Geocriticism: Real and Fictional Spaces by Bertrand Westphal

By Bertrand Westphal

Even supposing time frequently ruled the views of the arts and social sciences, house has reasserted itself within the contexts of postmodernity, postcolonialism, and globalization. at the present time, a few rising severe discourses attach geography, structure, and environmental reports, between others to literature, movie, and the mimetic arts.  Bertrand Westphal’s  Geocriticism explores those assorted fields, examines numerous theories of house and position, and proposes a brand new severe perform compatible for realizing our spatial situation today.  Drawing on a wide range of theoretical and literary assets from all over the world and from antiquity to the current, Westphal argues for a geocritical method of literary and cultural studies.  This quantity is an indispensible touchstone for these attracted to the interactions among literature and area.

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In short,” writes Perec, “spaces have multiplied, been broken up and have diversified. There are spaces today of every kind and every size, for every use and every function. ”40 Thus the surface of places shares the fate of the timeline: the one and the other fall apart to leave room for ad hoc arrangements—in both the spatial and temporal senses of the word. Space is involved in the same disintegrating dynamic as time. indd 25 3/7/11 10:47 AM 26 ● Geocriticism of dimension becomes the crisis of the whole.

In the late 1980s and throughout the 1990s, such renowned geographers as Denis Cosgrove, Stephen Daniels, James S. Duncan, and David Ley consolidated the link. Derek Gregory’s Geographical Imaginations surveyed this movement while also contributing to it. In France, it would take longer to achieve this result, despite the role of a geographer well known to literary critics: in Julien Gracq’s The Shape of a City, literature and geography meet in Nantes, the birthplace of Jules Verne. indd 31 3/7/11 10:47 AM 32 ● Geocriticism geography; it can translate the experience of places (via modes of perception, for instance); and it expresses a critique of reality or of the dominant ideology.

In Mon Europe, an essay cowritten with the Ukrainian author Yuri Andrukhovych, the Polish novelist Andrzej Stasiuk begins a meditation on European identities. But in a detour from his quest that leads him to explore the border regions of Poland and Ukraine, Stasiuk begins to interrogate his own status as a writer. Writing reveals its lability, the fragility of its spatiotemporal anchor: “I describe circles, detours, I digress as the good soldier Švejk on the road to Budějovice and, like him, I cannot follow along a straight, linear path to a story told properly.

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