Publication
Title
Making the visible a little hard to see : D.J. Waldie's aesthetic challenge to American urban studies in Holy Land : a suburban memoir
Author
Abstract
In this article we argue that the aesthetic appeal of D. J. Waldie's Holy Land: A Suburban Memoir may be attributed to the many surprises its hybrid form delivers. What sets off this little book from so many other narratives about the American post-war history of suburbanization is the complexity of its literary shape. We analyse this by returning to Michel de Certeau's opposition between a voyeur-god's totalizing panorama-city and the immersive experience of the walker at street level. Holy Land presents a series of fragmented observations formally modelled upon the grid pattern that structures the author's built environment. Roaming across this grid is a walking participant observer: the narrator, who decentres the Cartesian eye of the cartographer. This laconic narrator plays around in a metonymical manner with an endlessly extendable chain of links, disturbing all attempts at reducing and synthesizing his suburban narrative. In the end, however, neither the act of gridding the text nor the insertion of a walking perspective lend themselves to straightforward allegorical interpretations. We are left with an unpredictable stage for the circulation and mutual transformation of information and affect, which in the final analysis appears to be a textual enactment of the workings of desire.
Language
English
Source (journal)
Anglia: Zeitschrift für englische Philologie. - Tübingen
Publication
Tübingen : 2014
ISSN
0340-5222
Volume/pages
132:1(2014), p. 78-97
ISI
000339388400005
Full text (Publishers DOI)
UAntwerpen
Faculty/Department
Research group
Publication type
Subject
Affiliation
Publications with a UAntwerp address
External links
Web of Science
Record
Identification
Creation 08.09.2014
Last edited 04.05.2017
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