June 15th 2013 updates

Two new citations added today:

• Ameel, Lieven. 2013. “Moved by the City : Experiences of Helsinki in Finnish Prose Fiction 1889-1941”. PhD, University of Helsinki.

This study analyses experiences of Helsinki in prose fiction published in Finnish in the period 1889-1941. It examines the relationships that are formed between Helsinki and fictional characters, focusing, especially, on the way in which urban public space is experienced. Particular attention is given to the description of movement through urban space. The primary material consists of more than sixty novels, collections of short stories and individual short stories. Theoretically, this study draws on two sets of frameworks: on the one hand, the expanding field of literary studies of the city, and on the other hand, theoretical concepts provided by humanistic and critical geography, as well as urban studies. Following an introduction, which includes a concise history of Helsinki, a theoretical chapter charts the relevant concepts and theoretical approaches to the city in literature.

• Lombardi, W. 2013. “‘It All Comes Together’ in … Reno?: Confronting the Postwestern Geographic Imaginary in Willy Vlautin’s  The Motel Life.” Western American Literature 48 (1-2): 141–162.

This reading of Willy Vlautin’s The Motel Life (2006) reconsiders local meaning-making and practice in the context of recent postwestern spatial productions that emphasize western space as globally routed and interconnected. Frequently, the postwestern condition is situated as manifold and unsettled in its production, unstable in its condition, and it reflects a mobility extensive with postmodernity at large rather than the expected, formulaic—read pejorative—provincialism of past conceptions. Still, Vlautin’s novel exudes a deliberate, almost claustraphobic sense of the American post-West as a fixed, hermetic locale. This essayclaims that Vlautin’s variation on the production of postwestern space compels us to assess whether we overstate the everyday cultural impact of postnational interdependence on the majority of average westerners.

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