“The Function of Urban Space in "In the Skin of a Lion" by Michael Ondaatje”

Pirhulyieva, Jakhan (7 April 2017). “The Function of Urban Space in "In the Skin of a Lion" by Michael Ondaatje” (Unpublished). In: Postgraduate symposium "Placing, Spacing, Displacing". University of Malta. April 7-8, 2017.

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The slogan of Tourism Toronto today “The World in One City” explicitly signifies the city’s multinational nature, its new identity as a “polyphonous city of many cultures” (Rosenthal 2011, p.32). The city of Toronto, its history in the first half of the twentieth century and the numerous people behind that history, whose names will remain either unknown or long forgotten, play a substantial role in Michael Ondaatje’s novel In the Skin of a Lion. The space of the city is not only an important background where the majority of the events unfold for the reader, but it is also a driving force in both the construction of the story’s narrative and the development of the characters. Drawing mainly on the works of Henri Lefebvre and Edward Soja, this paper investigates the function of urban space in Ondaatje’s novel In the Skin of a Lion, and further contemplates the significance of urban space in modern literary texts. The urban space incorporates several functions in the text. On the one hand, the multifaceted character of the city’s vast space isolates and alienates the individuals who live there. On the other hand, it unites the characters in a paradoxical way and bonds them together to a certain degree. Furthermore, the urban space is constantly produced by the people who live there; and every character in the novel constructs their own space of Toronto and shares their individual space of the city with the reader.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

Division/Institute:

06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Linguistics and Literary Studies > Institute of English Languages and Literatures
06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Linguistics and Literary Studies > Institute of English Languages and Literatures > Modern English Literature
12 Faculty Centers > Center for Cultural Studies (CCS)

Graduate School:

Graduate School of the Humanities (GSH)

UniBE Contributor:

Pirhulyieva, Jakhan

Subjects:

400 Language > 420 English & Old English languages
800 Literature, rhetoric & criticism > 810 American literature in English
800 Literature, rhetoric & criticism > 820 English & Old English literatures

Language:

English

Submitter:

Jakhan Pirhulyieva

Date Deposited:

10 Apr 2018 07:44

Last Modified:

10 Apr 2018 07:44

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Urban space, Canadian Literature, space and spatiality in literature.

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/107698

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