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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:55481
Doc. No:TL25435
Call number:‭3362332‬
Main Entry:Michael K. Walonen
Title & Author:The social dynamics of space and place in the North African writings of Paul Bowles, William S. Burroughs, and Brion GysinMichael K. Walonen
College:University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Date:2009
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2009
Page No:163
Abstract:From the end of World War II up through the end of French colonial rule in North Africa a sizeable expatriate community existed in Tangier, among whose members were the writers Paul Bowles, William Burroughs, and Brion Gysin. Each author in his own way bore testament in his writing to the changing social spaces and places of the region during this period. Their representations of the spatiality of this region across this time of transition manifest what Raymond Williams refers to as a shared "structure of feeling," a basic commonality of outlook undergirding a culture or subculture. The common components of these spatial representations are an envisioning of North Africa as a land that can be in some way dominated or superimposed upon, a kind of frontier space; an attention to the (positive or negative) transformative potential of the conflict and unrest sweeping the region; a recording of how the power relations evident in the widespread sexual commerce between Westerners and natives play themselves out in the spatial organization of the region; and an embracing of the market as embodying an essential underlying logic to the culture of the region. My dissertation argues that each author displays a nostalgia for the colonial order and the benefits that he enjoyed in the privileged situation of a Westerner within this order, but each sought ways of reconciling this longing with the logical and reasonable demands for independent governance made by the local peoples and the overall anticolonialist zeitgeist sweeping the "Third World" at the time. Bowles represented the changes enacted on the space of the region by modernization and Westernization as shallow and spiritless, taking ultimate refuge in representations of North African space heavily informed by local folk traditions. Burroughs, by contrast, drew on bits and pieces of the region, particularly Tangier, in imagining Interzone, a kind of utopian libertarian space that served as a more palatable alternative to the staidness and conformity of mid-century America. Gysin, finally, understood North African space as defined by revolution and conflict, a battleground for clashes between West and East, colored and white, and male and female.
Subject:Social sciences; Language, literature and linguistics; American expatriate authors; Tangier, Morocco; Bowles, Paul; Burroughs, William S.; Gysin, Brion; Postcolonial studies; Expatriate authors; North Africa; Modern history; American literature; 0591:American literature; 0582:Modern history
Added Entry:Y.-H. Wu
Added Entry:University of Louisiana at Lafayette