The Literary Making of Home(land)

Transnational Fictions of Home in Lloyd Jones' Mister Pip

in Anthropological Journal of European Cultures
Stella Butter Mannheim University

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This article discusses the role literature plays in shaping 'home' as an ideological site of the spatial imaginary by drawing on Lloyd Jones' novel Mister Pip (2006) as a case study. Special emphasis is placed on analysing how ideals of home are rooted in 'cultures of subjectivity' (Reckwitz 2012). I systematically tease out two paradigms of home in Mister Pip and comment on their social implications within a postcolonial context. As I show, literature features as the privileged model of home in Mister Pip. This ideal of home is connected to a specific form of subjectivity, namely the 'creative self' (Reckwitz 2012). By shifting my attention to issues of reader response, I argue that Mister Pip 'trains' its readers in practices of the creative self, thereby contributing to a specific form of homemaking. I conclude with a critical assessment of Jones' literary achievement in the light of postcolonial power relations.

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Anthropological Journal of European Cultures

(formerly: Anthropological Yearbook of European Cultures)


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