Representations of Urban Space in Edith Wharton and Anzia Yezierska
3. New York City Interiors inEdith Wharton and Anzia Yezierska - 127
3. New York City Interiors in Edith Wharton and Anzia Yezierska “I’ve never been in a city where there seems to be such a feeling against living in des quartiers excentriques. What does it matter where one lives? I’m told this street is respectable.” “It’s not fashionable.” (AOI, 65) Not surprisingly, the interior New York City spaces of both Edith Wharton and Anzia Yezierska offer tremendous opportunities to refute any lingering “melting pot” theories. As has been pointed out, “space is hierarchical”; it can be “zoned, segregated, gated” and can either allow “freedoms” or put up “restrictions”.126 Inte- rior spaces, unlike public spaces and streets, are simply not ac- cessible to everyone, they are generally spaces of exclusion rather than inclusion. Connected with the definition and understanding of these particular interior cityscapes is the absence of a “crowd”, a city feature I have looked at in the last chapter. In addition, questions of noise and silence as well as the quality and quantity of space all matter when discussing urban interiors. Quite expectedly, the interior spaces of Edith Wharton’s mil- lionaires and Anzia Yezierska’s immigrants are generally to be found at the opposite end of the real estate spectrum, though not exclusively so. Naturally, those interiors also tend to be located on opposite sides of the metropolis. The Lower East Side neighbor- hoods are usually home to Yezierska’s characters; the areas from Washington Square up north, usually located on the East Side of Central Park and only occasionally on...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.