Literature, Geography, and the Postmodern Poetics of Place by E. Prieto

By E. Prieto

This publication opens up an understudied quarter in the box of literary spatiality: the query of geographical emergence. A research of up to date literary representations of position, it attracts on phenomenological, poststructural, and postcolonial theories of house and position to teach how literature contributes to the formation of recent geographical identities. With chapters dedicated to the in-between areas of Samuel Beckett, France's suburban ghettoes, and the postcolonial proto-nations of France's Caribbean territories, this examine emphasizes literature's skill to subtly yet decisively form readers' attitudes towards the realm round them, making it attainable to work out such areas no longer as faulty or by-product types of proven modes of living yet as laboratories for the methods of lifetime of day after today.

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In keeping with Malpas’s phenomenological orientation, places are not constituted by preexisting subjectivities but arise in conjunction with them. 7 Indeed, for Malpas, there can be no such thing as consciousness or subjectivity without place: “the very structure of the mind is intrinsically tied to locality and spatiality” (10). 8 Malpas’s theory of place builds on the theory of embodied mind—that is, all cognition of whatever kind is embodied in the sensorimotor systems of the body, which have themselves arisen in conjunction with the surrounding environment.

Either way, he would seem to be ignoring the implications of his own theory of embodied cognition, which is reliant on the (evolutionarily shaped) configuration of the body and its sensorimotor apparatus for its very existence. By opposing “human identity” to (mere) “biology” PLACE, SUBJECTIVITY, AND THE HUMANIST TRADITION 35 and “psychology” he seems to be arguing against himself. Indeed, this opposition seems to surreptitiously reintroduce Cartesian dualism into his account at a critical juncture, with the human opposed to the biological and the rational opposed to the psychological (as in Descartes’s treatment of the passions).

That places are singular, in the sense that they are unique and can be located on a map). Before getting to such issues, however, we need to have a better understanding of how Malpas relates place to Dasein. PLACE, SUBJECTIVITY, AND THE HUMANIST TRADITION 27 Dasein is a quintessentially phenomenological concept—a term that emphasizes the extent to which human existence is intertwined with and inseparable from the world in which we find ourselves. Although identified specifically with Heidegger, the concept is derived from Husserl and Brentano’s celebrated insight into human consciousness as intentional.

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