Mind the gap : an exploration of liminal spaces, creative and destructive

Publication Type:
Thesis
Issue Date:
2009
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NO FULL TEXT AVAILABLE. Access is restricted indefinitely. ----- This thesis is concerned with transitional territory, referred to throughout as ‘Inbetween’, which is a zone wherein symbols and images are created and ideas are germinated. Van Gennep’s anthropological model is taken as a starting point from which to extrapolate notions of liminal space. This is followed by mythopoeic background material (in the form of references to the inbetween zones of the Hebrew Kabbalah and the Shi’ite Na Koja Abad) that helps to situate this concept within a historical context. From here I demonstrate, through examples from both arcane and contemporary literature, the inherently creative aspects of this liminal space, and also its inverse — as a site of imaginative failure and moral paralysis when its erotic force is diminished. The writers here discussed in detail are Iris Murdoch, Tony Kushner, Philip Pullman and Amos Oz. While linking mythological antecedents of Inbetween with more recent works of fiction, Mind the Gap also reflects upon personal endeavours to articulate this concept through the two stories that accompany this work. I demonstrate the paradox that it is Inbetween’s ambivalence that makes this imagined space the hub of both personal and cultural change: between oppositional poles is the ground of creativity, of individuation, of reconciliation.
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