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Dislocation, Relocation, and the Position of the In-Between: Doris Lessing's In Pursuit of the English

無處安置、重新安置與居間位置:多麗絲.萊辛的《尋找英國人》

Abstracts


Doris Lessing's In Pursuit of the English (1960) offers a view of the changing map of postwar London from the author's arrival in 1949. It describes the emotions Lessing experienced during the process of dislocation and relocation throughout her journey from South Africa to the United Kingdom. As a white immigrant, Lessing is both an insider and outsider. Her personal spatial experience and reconception of the history of London provide routes through which Lessing can resituate her identity as an English national and as a woman. Lessing conveys the ambiguity of her position through the narrator's embodied subject and spatial positioning throughout the journey. In In Pursuit, the narrator is situated in an "in-between position": a status of uncertainty or otherness. Elizabeth Grosz develops the concept of the in-between further and proposes that to reinvestigate the space of the in-between is to make culture more dynamic and move into the future. In this book, the narrator explores individuals with similar situations. They transit themselves from being the other to their own becoming through the reconstruction of relations. Lessing's characters regain a sense of being and recover from feeling dislocated in a devastated London through their memories and the stories that they tell. Williem Frijhoff and Susan Stanford Friedman have proposed that storytelling is crucial in the reconstruction of cultural memory. Lessing's life writing pieces together lost memories of the city and the everyday lives of locals. Even more, Lessing's depiction of women's community leads to the emergence of those women's new identity through their shared living experience and unique voices. Through an understanding of the relationships between insiders and outsiders, both Lessing and the people she meets in London are involved in the city's changing and progression.

Parallel abstracts


多麗絲.萊辛的作品《尋找英國人》在1960年出版,呈現作者1949年抵達戰後倫敦的轉變面貌。這本書描述萊辛從南非到英國旅途中,所經歷的無處安置以及不斷遷移的過程。身為一個白人移民非洲者的後代,萊辛是本國人但也是外來者。她個人的空間經歷,以及對倫敦歷史的重新認識,讓她對自己身為一個英國國民以及女性的身份重新定位。萊辛藉由敘事者旅途中主體的具體感受以及所處的空間,陳述了她處境的曖昧。在移動過程中,敘事者位於一種居間的位置:一種不明確以及他者的狀態。伊莉莎白.果茲發展了這個居間性的概念,並且提出應該要重新探索此空間,讓文化得以不斷發展並往未來邁進。書中的敘事者透過身體的處境,與類似狀況的人們相連結,他們於是從他者的狀態轉移到一個轉變中的狀態。另一方面,在毀壞的倫敦中,萊辛的角色們透過訴說故事,從錯置感中恢復並找回存在感。威廉.弗瑞傑霍夫還有蘇珊.史丹夫德.傅利曼都提出,說故事是重建文化記憶很重要的部分。萊辛的生命敘事,將城市裡失落的記憶以及當地人的每日生活拼湊在一起,呈現一個自我空間的倫敦。而藉由原來居民以及新來居民之間的互相理解,不管是萊辛或者她遇到的人,都在這個城市的前進中重新安置。

References


Friedman, Susan Stanford. Mappings: Feminism and the Cultural Geographies of Encounter. Princeton UP, 1998.
Friedman, Susan Stanford. “Women’s Autobiographical Selves: Theory and Practice.” The Private Self: Theory and Practice of Women’s Autobiographical Writings, edited by Shari Benstock, U of North Carolina P, 1988, pp 34-62.
Frijhoff, Williem. “Physical Space, Urban Space, Civic Space: Rotterdam’s Inhabitants and their Appropriation of the City’s Past.” Local Memories in a Nationalizing and Globalizing World, edited by Marnix Beyen and Brecht Deseure, Palgrave Macmillan, 2015, pp. 27-50.
Gilroy, Paul. Small Acts: Thoughts on the Politics of Black Cultures. Serpent’s Tail, 1993.
Green, Susan. “Genre: Life Writing.” mETAphor, no. 2, 2008, pp. 50-55.

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