While such approaches have been important for problematizing hegemonic mobilizations of “house”, there may be additionally a danger in reading movement as constitutive of the (publish)fashionable world. In specific, such frameworks usually overlook the experiences of those who are forcibly displaced. Critical funding in tropes of migrancy could unwittingly recycle imperialist assumptions by producing imagined spaces of alterity that serve to liberate the centred, “at house” subject at the expense of historicized experiences of homelessness. Abdulrazak Gurnahs 2001 novel By the Sea represents one such historicized experience, that of its protagonist, asylum seeker Saleh Omar. This article argues that, via its narrative investment in homes and household objects and in the importance of narrative for creating a way of house for its migrant protagonist, Gurnahs novel poses a challenge to an aesthetic valorization of displacement.
There’s a triptych of sunsets next to my bed room door, nightfall forever falling over … Read More