Home Matters: Longing and Belonging, Nostalgia and Mourning by R. Rubenstein

By R. Rubenstein

Regardless of its quite often regressive institutions with homesickness, the longing linked to nostalgia can also functionality gradually as a car for imaginatively 'fixing' the previous in senses: securing and mending or repairing. contemplating fiction by way of British and 6 American girls writers of other generations and ethnicities, this learn explores tensions among domestic and exile, insider and outsider, longing and belonging, loss and restoration. Rubenstein argues that nostalgia services narratively as a technique for interrogating not just notions of domestic, homesickness, and native land but additionally cultural old dislocation, getting older, and ethical accountability. those narratives re-frame an important locus of outrage in modern (female) event: own and/or cultural dis-placement and eager for domestic are finally transmuted - imaginatively, at the least - by way of a restorative imaginative and prescient that allows therapeutic and emotional fix.

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Additional info for Home Matters: Longing and Belonging, Nostalgia and Mourning in Women's Fiction

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A claustrophobic “child-space” (43), although apparently comprising Emily’s experiences, is a location “as close to me as 30 Home Matters my own memories” (47). The narrator yearns at times to escape permanently into the inner realm, “simply to walk through the wall and never come back. But this would be irresponsible . ” (24). Instead, rather than dismissing nostalgic memories as distortions that lie (as did Anna Wulf) or giving in to their painful but sentimental appeal, she determines to explore them and thus neutralize their debilitating power.

Her choice may be understood, in light of Lessing’s autobiographical admissions, as her attempt to achieve emotional reconciliation with her mother—herself a “poor girl brought up without affection” (“Impertinent Daughters” 55)—by reversing the generational obligations of the filial relationship. In an ironic mirroring, Lessing’s mother also experienced “homesickness”—but for her, “home” was the England she had left behind before Doris’s birth. 34 Late in Memoirs, the rooms beyond the wall that the narrator has helped to restore open out into terraces of Edenic gardens that contrast sharply with the deteriorating, contaminated world she observes outside her flat.

Something untrue, but a concentration of truth” (Laughter 35)—as they transform the lost landscape of home and the lost mother of childhood into art. This page intentionally left blank Part II Displacements of/from Home m This page intentionally left blank m2m Home is (Mother) Earth: Animal Dreams, Barbara Kingsolver You can’t know somebody . . till you’ve followed him home. —Codi Noline, Animal Dreams I f the fiction and autobiographical writings of Virginia Woolf and Doris Lessing reveal a nostalgic preoccupation with the idealized or fantasized lost mother and the lost landscape of home that is associated with her, a number of narratives by contemporary American women writers complicate those preoccupations in diverse ways.

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