Place and Space in Modern Fiction

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April 2004



Wesley A. Kort mines and organizes the contribution of six modern English writers to our understanding of human relations to places and the moral and spiritual importance of these relations. Hardy, Conrad, Forster, Graham Greene, Golding, and Spark deploy fictions depicting the deficient attitudes toward place and space that are characteristic of modern culture, and they narrate more positive alternatives. Kort illuminates and develops the spatial theory implicit in their work and sets it in the context of contemporary theories of human-place relations and spatiality. Emphasizing the force and significance of place and location in narrative discourse, Kort counters the assumption that modern writers responded to the traumatic dislocations of modernity by creating fictions that are somehow outside the history of those dislocations. He also takes account of an important shift in cultural studies from the language of time and history to the language of place and space, a shift that helps distinguish the modern period from the late-modern and postmodern periods. At the same time, he avoids the vague characteristics of spatial language in cultural studies by grounding his discussion in narrative discourse. Kort considers the widespread theoretical assumption that modern history is mainly evil and that its yield is concentrated in the modern city. While this negative view of the city serves many theorists as a foundation for the creation of tentative, positive alternatives, Kort argues that cities can and should be more positively viewed and that the theory of place relations implicit in these six writers helps, among other things, to put the city into a more constructive relation to ourspatial future.


Wesley A. Kort is chair of the Department of Religion at Duke University and author of several books, including C. S. Lewis Then and New and Modern Fiction and Human Time.

EAN: 9780813027319
ISBN: 0813027314
Untertitel: First. Sprache: Englisch.
Erscheinungsdatum: April 2004
Seitenanzahl: 288 Seiten
Format: gebunden
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