The Central and the Peripheral: Studies in Literature and Culture (BOK)
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Representing reality in terms of secure, familiar centres and dangerous, lesser known peripheries is one of the most elementary human cognitive instincts. However, we live in a world where this established division is becoming more and more problematic. One person's periphery can be another's centre, and many simple geographies of the world and of the mind, clearly separating the known from the unknown, have become obsolete. How can one reconcile this complexity with the fact that human thinking cannot escape the centre/periphery dichotomy? How is it possible to find one's way in a world in which peripheries become centres, and centres turn into peripheries? The subsequent chapters of the book try to determine how the problem of centres and peripheries has been dealt with in the domains of literature and culture. The contributors focus on different aspects of the issue - from travel writing, through attempts at mapping the self, to finding central and peripheral territories in narrative itself.