THE AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL EXPERIENCE OF MIGRATION IN THE LITERARY WORKS OF WOMEN WRITERS OF THE SLOVENIAN LITERARY POLYSYSTEMMegi Rožič
, 2016, doctoral dissertation
Abstract: People have travelled and migrated since the early periods of history and the phenomenon of migration, defined as “the movement of large numbers of people, birds or animals from one place to another” (Oxford Advanced Dictionary, 7th ed.) has a history of hundreds of years (Pourjafari, Vahidpour, 2014) and is by no means new. But the way of travelling, migrating and mobility in contemporary reality does have many specific aspects and recently it has been studied in new ways, with new concerns. The experience of migration in the contemporary world is a fundamental characteristic of human societies. “It is a system in which the circulation of people, sources and information follows multiple paths. The energy and barriers that alter the course or deflect the contemporary patterns of movement have both obvious and hidden features. While nothing is utterly random, the consequences of change are often far from predictable” (Papastergiadis, 2000: 1). This unpredictability and multidirectionality has led to changes in approaches to the study of migration in recent decades. In the last few decades the study of migration has increasingly been accompanied by a tendency to study it on the individual level − at the level of personal life stories (Milharčič Hladnik, 2007). These are also markedly expressed in the medium of literature.
The present dissertation presents literary oeuvres of seven women writers, who thematise the autobiographical experience of migration, it offers an individually, woman-centred experience and view of migration. In selected oeuvres personal views are expressed on that experience, different strategies of coping with life in new realities and regarding relationships in these environments. The thematisation of the experience of migration in selected oeuvres is also connected with a problematisation of other concepts: the concepts of belonging, borders, nation-state, culture and language. It is also vitally connected with the personal identity construction of the lyrical subjects and literary characters and also because of the autobiographical character of selected literary works of the literary artists themselves. The experience of migration in selected literary works leads to unique identity formations, which in themselves combine elements of different cultural backgrounds and traditions. In their literary works these selected women writers also shape their relationship toward time and space dimensions, tradition and interpersonal relationships through the experience of migration.
The experience of migration, the relocation of the subject and a change of the geographical area in selected oeuvres, does not only represent a change of the geographical position: it also allows a deviation from other rigid and seemingly fixed and unvarying patterns and virtual realities that accompany human life. Migration can also present an alienation effect from traditionalisms and determinants that define human lives. In the literary oeuvres of these selected women writers, migration is only in part tied to the traditional concepts related to migrants, with the loss of roots and rupture with the place of origin. In the selected literary oeuvres, migrants are rarely considered to be uprooted and unable to find their anchor or confidently start a new chapter in their lives in a new environment. Migration is mostly connected with the possibility of expanding the horizon of insights and perspectives of looking at life, with the acceptance of its complexities, ambiguities and incompleteness. Mostly, the experience of migration is seen as a new, creative option, which opens and examines the wide range of other issues and dilemmas. The condition of uprooted loss has traditionally negative connotations, but in the selected oeuvres vagueness and fluidity allow a real insight into the real, complex nature of life and human existence.
Keywords: The experience of migration, women writers, Maruša Krese, Ifigenija Zagoričnik Simonović, Brina Švigelj-Mérat − Brina Svit, Gabriela Babnik, Stanislava Chrobáková Repar, Erica Johnson Debeljak, Lidija Dimkovska, literary polysystem, nomadic entity, locational feminism, fluid identity, transnationalism, transculturalism
Published in RUNG: 11.10.2016; Views: 6710; Downloads: 473
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