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“ … the world I live in will go on escaping me forever. ” Questions of Space and Identity in Paul Auster’s City of Glass & Wim Wenders’ Lisbon Story

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Title: “ … the world I live in will go on escaping me forever. ” Questions of Space and Identity in Paul Auster’s City of Glass & Wim Wenders’ Lisbon Story
Author: Lehmann, Lilian Vogelweid
Department: Bi-College (Haverford and Bryn Mawr Colleges). Comparative Literature Program
Type: Thesis (B.A.)
Running Time: 212636 bytes79184 bytes
Issue Date: 2005
Abstract: The city space is a place of endless possibilities, a vast web of intersecting paths, peoples and times, that is at once an unknown, foreign country to be discovered, as well as an intimately familiar dwelling. It provides its inhabitants with the potential for feeling both at ease and unsettled, rooted but lost, hidden yet exposed, as somebody or nobody. Both Paul Auster in his novel City of Glass and Wim Wenders in his film Lisbon Story explore this indeterminate urban space through characters whose identities draw upon and are affected by the city and what exists therein. In the chaotic urban landscape, Auster’s and Wenders’ protagonists take to roaming the labyrinth of streets, in an effort to immerse themselves completely in the city and experience its ‘true’ nature. In order to achieve this, they believe they must first efface themselves, lose their sense of self, which results in an aimless journey to become nobody. Nevertheless, in both City of Glass and Lisbon Story, the protagonists find themselves eventually attempting to make some semblance of sense of what they are perceiving around them. Either by taking notes on the city, through the filming of it or by recording its sounds, Quinn, Monroe, Winter (the characters in Auster’s and Wenders’ works), and even the invisible character of the Portuguese modernist poet Fernando Pessoa, attempt to decipher space as they navigate it, while simultaneously relying on it as a source of inspiration for finding, creating and asserting their own existence and some form of identity.
Subject: Auster, Paul, 1947- City of glass
Subject: Cities and towns in motion pictures
Subject: Auster, Paul, 1947- -- Criticism and interpretation
Subject: Cities and towns -- Psychological aspects
Subject: Lisbon story (Motion picture)
Subject: Wenders, Wim -- Criticism and interpretation
Terms of Use: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/us/
Permanent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10066/623

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2005LehmannL.pdf Thesis (Haverford & Bryn Mawr users only) 207.6Kb PDF
Bicollege_departmental_permission.pdf **Archive Staff Only** 31.14Kb PDF

Citation

Lehmann, Lilian Vogelweid. "“ … the world I live in will go on escaping me forever. ” Questions of Space and Identity in Paul Auster’s City of Glass & Wim Wenders’ Lisbon Story". 2005. Available electronically from http://hdl.handle.net/10066/623.

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http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/us/ Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/us/

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