Exploring the Heterotopic and Third Spaces in Paul Auster's and Orhan Pamuk’s City Novels
The author re-examines the urban novels of Auster and Pamuk in the light of Foucault's heterotopia and Bhabha's the Third Space, respectively. Furthermore, for the discussions of the nature of the relationship between the self and the other, this present study deploys Emmanuel Levinas's ethics. This book argues that examining the urban spaces and characters of Auster and Pamuk through the prisms of Foucault, Bhabha and Levinas establishes a new critical framework that gives a constructive and ethical angle to the negative late twentieth-century and early twenty-first century discourses on the city and its inhabitants. The reader of this book will discover urban subjects who actively transform their respective cities into either heterotopic or Third Spaces and thereby become response-able for and attentive to their immediate surroundings, to their national or personal histories and, most importantly, to other people. At the same time, by bringing these two different cities, cultures and authors that are poles apart together, this book aims to problematize commonly held beliefs about Americanness and Turkishness and thus pave the way for looking at discourses such as «clash of civilizations», «margin» (Istanbul) and «center» (New York), the belated and the advanced from a critical point of view suggesting that there is a common discursive affinity with similar outlooks on life, personal, historical and physical spaces on both sides, rather than a «clash of civilizations». The arguments presented here will be of interest to students and scholars of city literature, comparative literature and history of ideas as well as to readers who have an interest in theory and close reading.
This study is a comparative study of Paul Auster’s and Orhan Pamuk’s urban novels and characters. It is interested in exploring and examining the ways the urban protagonists of Auster’s New York and Pamuk’s Istanbul novels experience their respective cities dynamically and constitute their identities around them constructively and ethically. For this purpose Auster’s and Pamuk’s city novels will be analyzed within the frameworks of Michel Foucault's “heterotopia” and Homi Bhabha's “the Third Space,” respectively. Furthermore, for the discussion of the nature of the self and the other as well as their relationship, Emmanuel Levinas’s ethics will be deployed. It is argued that examining the city novels and characters of Auster and Pamuk through the prisms of Foucault, Bhabha and Levinas establishes a new critical framework that gives a constructive and optimistic angle to the negative late twentieth century and the early twenty-first century discourses on the city and its inhabitants. Therefore, I argue that Auster’s and Pamuk’s urban subjects re-imagine the ways in which the city can be transformed into heterotopic, and Third Spaces and inhabitants may become response-able for and attentive to their immediate surroundings, to their national or personal histories and, most importantly, to other people. At the same time, by bringing these two different cities, cultures and authors together, I aim to problematize geographical enclosures and complicate such spatial categories and ideologies as “East,” “West,” center, periphery, belated and advanced.
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