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Appears in Collections:Literature and Languages Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Spatial Subversion in Alexander Trocchi's Young Adam and Cain's Book
Author(s): Tasker, Gillian
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Issue Date: 1-Oct-2014
Citation: Tasker G (2014) Spatial Subversion in Alexander Trocchi's Young Adam and Cain's Book. Journal of Irish and Scottish Studies, 8 (1), pp. 80-99.
Abstract: First paragraph: Heterotopology was first theorised by Michel Foucault in his 1967 lecture 'Other Spaces' ('Des espaces autres'), delivered at the Cercle d'Etudes architecturales and later published in his Dits et Ecrits in 1994. Deriving from a medical term referring to 'tissue that is not normal where it is located, or an organ that has been dislocated' heterotopia's connection to space suggests its more metaphorical practice. Linguistically 'hetereo-topia' is 'other-place', and these places of otherness are 'spaces of alternate ordering'. Kenneth White has also usefully defined heterotopia as 'being a stage on the way towards what I've come to call, in general terms, atopia, a place radically outside commonplaces, without being a no-place' to emphasise that the heterotopia constitutes a real rather than imagined space, such as utopia. As 'a spatial dimension of difference', discordance is integral to the function of the heterotopia which 'is capable of juxtaposing in a single real space several spaces, several sites that are in themselves incompatible'. The uncanny nature of the heterotopia, their contradictory spatiality, and their implicitly subversive disruption of social norms, makes them particularly relevant to Alexander Trocchi's texts and, as I will argue, to the concept of the edge. Predominantly published in the 1950s and 1960s, Trocchi was a Glasgow-born avant-garde writer whose oeuvre is usually associated with French existentialism, the Beat Generation, and London's counterculture, due to his cosmopolitan lifestyle and experimental aestheticism.
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