Corporeality and the Metropolis: Dissolving the Body in Paul Auster’s The New York Trilogy

Article


Nigianni, Betty 2003. Corporeality and the Metropolis: Dissolving the Body in Paul Auster’s The New York Trilogy. Gramma: Journal of Theory and Criticism.
AuthorsNigianni, Betty
Abstract

This article deals with the theme of the shattering of the body in the contemporary urban environment
as it appears in Paul Auster’s The New York Trilogy. In the three novels of The Trilogy, the writer
deals with the complex interaction between the metropolitan cityscape and the human body: moving
through a labyrinthine New York whose dimensions exceed by far the human scale, Auster’s heroes
experience conditions of depersonalization and assumed absorption by space, which finally lead them
to the extreme state of the dissolution of their bodies. This transgression of the physical body, that
“melting into the walls of the city” (139), is however celebrated by Auster as a form of transgression
of logical boundaries, which permits thought to reveal its poetic nature: the heroes may disappear in
the end, however they leave behind them a written story – product and witness of their existence of
their existence in the postmodern city that escapes all anthropomorphic qualities in order to reveal a
more archaic and inspiring imagery.

KeywordsPaul Auster; New York; literary criticism; urban space; contemporary cityscape; human body
JournalGramma: Journal of Theory and Criticism
ISSN1106-1170
Year2003
Accepted author manuscript
License
CC BY-ND
Web address (URL)http://www.enl.auth.gr/gramma
http://hdl.handle.net/10552/1093
Publication dates
Print2003
Publication process dates
Deposited03 Dec 2010
Additional information

Citation:
Nigianni, B. (2003) ‘Corporeality and the Metropolis: Dissolving the Body in Paul Auster’s The New York Trilogy’ Gramma: Journal of Theory and Criticism, Issue 11, ‘Wrestling Bodies’ pp.139-149.

Page range139-149
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