Border Theory: A New Point of Access into Literature. A border-theoretical reading of China Miéville’s Un Lun Dun, The City and the City and Embassytown
AuthorJohansen, Cathrine Olea
“Border Theory: A New Point of Access into Literature” seeks to explore the use of a border-theoretical approach to literature. Border theories by Johan Schimanski, Stephen Wolfe, David Newman, Homi Bhabha, and a set of different border planes – the symbolic, epistemological, topographic, temporal and textual border plane – provide the scholarly framework for this thesis. Border theory studies the notion of hybridity, diversity and doubling, discusses the border and the change between the visible and invisibility, reviews binary oppositions and goes on to explore how borders can move beyond binaries and create a new space – a third space. The thesis uses three novels by China Miéville to examine border theory: Un Lun Dun (2007), The City and the City (2009) and Embassytown (2011). Miéville is a science fiction writer that introduces the genre of weird fiction. The main idea is that border theory, as its own theoretical point of access into the field of literary studies, can contribute with a new aspect of literary analysis, and that China Miéville’s contemporary weird fiction invites and benefits from a border-theoretical analysis. Border theory creates a new access-point into the theoretical analysis of novels, and further explores and shows how borders are represented in literature. Un Lun Dun presents the reader with a city and its abcity where the border between the two is not easy to see and understand. In addition, the abcity UnLondon is filled with strange spaces and extraordinary characters that give no shortage of borders to explore. The City and the City is a detective story that crosses the border between two sister cities – Besźel and Ul Qoma – with an invisible law enforcement agency operating within the invisible border between the two cities. Embassytown uses language as a barrier and a border between species. Set in the far future, the novel describes and explores complex relations and divisions of space, time and people – and the complications surrounding the inability to communicate. These novels have been chosen because of their borders-inquisitive qualities, and together they can each be read as a piece of the puzzle to a more complex understanding of borders and border crossings – both in literature and in real life. “Border Theory: A New Point of Access into Literature – A border-theoretical reading of China Miéville’s Un Lun Dun, The City and the City and Embassytown” is a thesis with a theoretical approach to contemporary literature – exploring the literary field of border theory.
PublisherUiT Norges arktiske universitet
UiT The Arctic University of Norway
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