1. ワークショップT(Research Group on American Expatriate Writings)(般2-103教室)

ワークショップT(Research Group on American Expatriate Writings)(般2-103教室)

Citizens of Somewhere Else: Dis-locating American Literature(Melville, Baldwin, Bowles)

責任者・発表者
九州大学 Taras A. Sak
発表者
福岡大学 David Farnell
福岡大学 Greg Bevan



"I am a citizen of somewhere else," Hawthorne famously declared in his Introductory preface to The Scarlet Letter, thereby transforming what had been a forcible dislocation from a career in public service into a life of literature and the mind. The authors upon which we focus in this workshop―Herman Melville, James Baldwin, and Paul Bowles―can be seen in the same tradition: writers who find themselves in exile, attempting in their art to negotiate this estranged relation to their homeland.

We will examine the theme of “dislocation” through an engagement with the political dimensions of Melville’s metaphor of orphanhood in Redburn (1849) and Israel Potter (1855), the dynamic of alienation and liberation in Baldwin’s Going to Meet the Man (1965), and the psychological and cross-cultural aspects of disconnection in Bowles’ The Time of Friendship (1967). In so doing, we hope to reflect upon the contemporary relevance of these three very different writers by addressing the question of how literature can engage and possibly challenge personal, cultural, and national identity.

What did it mean to be an “American” for these writers? Melville famously contrasted it with being a European or Englishman, then consistently undermined that very binary opposition throughout his fiction; Baldwin found himself out of place at home, as a homosexual and African-American, then chose to explore the liberating possibilities of the expatriate life; Bowles’ expatriates, in contrast, often discovered themselves in extremis, pushed up against their preconceptions and cultural limitations, whether as “Americans” or “Westerners.” We will attempt to show, by way of conclusion, how all three writers attest not only to disorientation and disillusionment, but also to the possibility of transformation and reinvention in this very experience of dislocation.

  1. Taras Sak will discuss the relation of the father/son motif, running throughout Redburn and Israel Potter, to Melville’s critique of so-called “American exceptionalism,” before examining his depiction of Liverpool and London
  2. David Farnell will focus upon “This Morning, This Evening, So Soon” in order to examine the crushing alienation of being out of place at home, as well as the freedoms and frustrations of being an alien abroad―in this case, postwar Paris.
  3. Greg Bevan will comment on and contrast two stories, “If I Should Open My Mouth” and “The Time of Friendship”: the first, a tale of urban estrangement set in New York City, and the second an exploration of cultural disconnection set in North Africa on the cusp of independence.