Literature And Geography Analysis

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2.4 The Literary Geographic, the Geographic Literary, and the Geo-critical Contours of Space It is not surprising that the study of the contours of fictional space has led to a convergence of literature and geography. This represents the spatial turn in literary theory par excellence. The intersection of literature and geography can be traced back to Antiquity, as Homer, the great Greek philosopher and poet, is believed to be “the first geographer and that his work includes a wealth of important geographico-historical knowledge, occasionally elaborated for poetic purposes” (Kim 2010: 60). Various geographers explore the relationship between literature and geography in an attempt to draw the contours at which literary and geographical topographies…show more content…
In this article, Brosseau not only documents the intersection between geography and literature since the 1970s but also argues that literature can be a new object for geography. He scathingly criticises the geographers who are looking for real facts and simple descriptive catalogues in novels. Such geographers, Brosseau points out, limit their main concern to “determining whether or not novelists were good geographers, in other words, whether or not they ’stick’ to the kind of facts one expects to find in a geography textbook” (Brosseau 1994: 337). Rather, Brosseau emphasises that geographers have to look for “what might be disruptive, subversive or a source of new questions in the novel” (Brosseau 1994: 347). Elucidating his contention, Brosseau explains that geographers initially used a corpus of realistic and naturalist novels, travel narratives and urban novels "to appreciate their documentary value" (Brosseau 1994: 336). The emergence of humanistic geography, of the phenomenological type, has witnessed a shift in scope from space to place with all the themes of “[v]alues, representations, intentions, subjectivity, identity, rootedness, experience, perception […] brought forth to make the human perspective the centre of attention” (Brosseau 1994: 337). In order to understand this shift in focus, it is significant to distinguish between the notions of space and place in the spatial theory and literary geography. Erica Carter, James Donald and Judith Squires briefly state that place is “space to which meaning has been ascribed” (Carter et al 1993: xii). Brosseau’s contour of literary geography is drawn to highlight the spatial vectors through which “the literary text may constitute a ‘geographer’ in its own right as it generates
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