How does our ability, desire or failure to locate ourselves within space, and with respect to certain places, effect the construction and narration of our identities? Approaching recordings and interpretations of selves, memories and experiences through the lens of theories of space and place, this book brings the recent spatial turn in the Humanities to bear upon the work of life writing. It shows how concepts of subjectivity draw on spatial ideas and metaphors, and how the grounding and uprooting of the self is understood in terms of place. The different chapters investigate ways in which selves are reimagined through relocation and the traversing of spaces and texts. Many are concerned with the politics of space: how racial, social and sexual topographies are navigated in life writing. Some examine how focusing on space, rather than time, impacts upon auto/biographical form. The book blends sustained theoretical reflections with textual analyses and also includes experimental contributions that explore independencies between spaces and selves by combining criticism with autobiography. Together, they testify that life writing can hardly be thought of without its connection to space.
Eveline Kilian is Professor of English Literature and Culture at Humboldt-UniversitAt zu Berlin, Germany. Hope Wolf is Lecturer in British Modernist Literature at the University of Sussex, UK.