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Original scientific paper

Stuck in Dystopia. Island as a Place without a Place in Šoljan’s On Pelegrin and Karuza’s Island Travel Guide

Ivana Žužul ; Institute for the History of Croatian Literature, Theatre and Music of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts

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page 341-360

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For the past several decades spatial turn has been one of the issues discussed in the framework of humanities and social sciences (Henri Lefebvre and Michel Foucault, Edward Soja). It primarily implies including geography into an interdisciplinary theoretical dialogue. Spatial turn has also been raised in the Croatian context; one might even say that the »language of space« has recently become a pertinent issue in Croatian literary and cultural theory. The proposed analysis concerns the two literary examples in which the experience of insular space is an important dimension: the poem On Pelegrin (Na Pelegrinu) by Antun Šoljan and the short story collection Island Travel Guide (Vodič po otoku) by Senko Karuza. The analysis is based on the premise that space is a cultural artefact, a construct shaped by different ideologies, which suggests that this reading of island and insularity takes into consideration the so-called spatial turn. The representations of the island the paper focuses on question and subvert the ideological images of islands mostly shaped by the electronic media for the purpose of promotion of tourism and consolidation of the national identity. In these examples the island is not fossilized, inanimate, fixed and inactive, it cannot be textually or temporally restrained. Accordingly, the paper attempts to show that rather then being representation, the island evades it, and that father then representing nature, the island constructs it. Moreover, the island is a balancing (non)identity and in this sense it subverts the signifiers it is traditionally described with.


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