Stranger spaces: Embodiment, space and language in the collaborative life writing novel The Fortune Finder
Keywords:cognitive linguistics, dual authorship, embodiment, strangers
The present study takes The Fortune Finder (2008) by Edward van de Vendel and Anoush Elman as a case in point to demonstrate how interactions between material bodies, space and power constitute some characters as strangers or, in other words, as bodies deemed out-of-place. The novel is an example of collaborative life writing and describes how a young, Afghan refugee and his family flee the Taliban regime and seek asylum in the Netherlands. Building on Sara Ahmed’s work (2000), I demonstrate how their bodies are recognised as stranger bodies through a demarcation of social spaces, which involves including or excluding particular bodies based on matters of normativity and deviance. Protagonist Hamayun and his family are implicated in shifting relationships with power and space that cause their bodies to be recognised as out-of-place in various ways, dependent on their circumstances. The notion of dwelling takes centre stage in these dynamics. It denotes the actual spaces that Hamayun and his family (are allowed to) inhabit, but it also features in a metaphor that links friendship with spaces of belonging. An implied lack thereof suggests how Hamayun eventually seems to perceive himself as a kind of stranger.
Copyright (c) 2021 Anne Klomberg
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