Show Less
Restricted access

Re-Imagining and Re-Placing New York and Istanbul

Exploring the Heterotopic and Third Spaces in Paul Auster's and Orhan Pamuk’s City Novels

Hatice Bay

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.

Show Summary Details
Restricted access

1 Theorizing Heterotopia


The first part of the following chapter seeks to deploy Foucault’s work and his notion of heterotopia as a theoretical framework for reading Auster’s New York fictions. In this chapter, I aim for an in-depth exploration of Foucault’s heterotopia, its theoretical roots and major features. Then, I will explore the subsequent interpretations of heterotopia and their contribution to the study of Auster’s space. I will argue that heterotopia can be utilized to elucidate the entangled relations of space, power, the subject, resistance and history. The second part of this chapter concentrates on Levinas’s concept of the subject because in heterotopias and Third Spaces, it is only through the other person that the subject is able to establish a sense of self that is ethical.

1.1 Heterotopia as Differential Textual Sites

The term “heterotopia” originally comes from the study of anatomy, where it refers to “parts of the body that are either out of place, missing, extra, or like tumors, alien” (Hetherington 42). Foucault developed this term first into a representational and then into a spatial concept. He first introduced the concept of heterotopia in The Order of Things (1966), in his discussion of Borges’ imaginary “Chinese Encyclopedia,” in which it is written that

animals are divided into: (a) belonging to the Emperor, (b) embalmed, (c) tame, (d) sucking pigs, (e) sirens, (f) fabulous, (g) stray dogs, (h) included in the present classification, (i) frenzied, (j) innumerable, (k) drawn with a very fine...

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.