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Contemporary Writing and the Politics of Space

Borders, Networks, Escape Lines


Edited By David Walton and Juan Antonio Suárez

This collective volume explores questions of space in contemporary literary texts from a range of theoretical perspectives. In addition to mapping the «spatial turn» in literary and cultural studies, this volume also brings together studies that apply spatial theory to the analysis of literary texts. Contributors tackle a broad range of themes, including how prose fiction addresses spaces of intimacy, abjection, espionage, discipline, madness, post-human identities, post-communist cities, the architecture of dystopia, and coercive medical practices. In turn, these themes open up analysis to key areas within contemporary literary and cultural criticism, including the study of sexuality, politics, power, and identity; the configuration of urban, regional, and national spaces and borders; and the delineation of private and public domains. The contributors reflect on diverse authors from English-speaking cultures and focus on a variety of genres and periods while acknowledging recent research in space studies and offering original contributions to what has now become a thriving field.

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4 The House: Friend or Foe? Buildings, Dwellings, and Home in Fiction (Clara Pallejá-López)


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4    The House: Friend or Foe? Buildings, Dwellings, and Home in Fiction


Twentieth-century research in the human sciences suggests that the house in narratives deserves further attention beyond being regarded as the mere setting for a story. The impact of the idea of the home on the human mind is believed to generate intense psychological and emotional attachments which determine the way people relate to space and organize reality. This relationship with the home seems to go beyond the past or present human interaction held within the premises. For deeply engrained reasons, people often develop a one-to-one emotional connection with the house itself that occurs autonomously. In this regard, it could be argued that, to a certain extent, the home complements and expands the self. This chapter explores a series of different insights into the concept of the home, all of which converge into highlighting a primeval human need for a home which generates multifaceted relationships with buildings. For readers and writers, this implies that the house in a text will stand in a prominent place which will condition the way the house is understood.

The House: Friend or Foe? Buildings, Dwellings, and Home in Fiction

Several of the best-known names in literature, interestingly, do not belong to characters. Instead, they refer to houses, buildings or other inanimate architectural structures. Wuthering Heights, Satis House from Great Expectations, the house of Usher...

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