CATEGORY OF MEMORY IN DAVID BEZMOZGIS’ IMMIGRANT CITY

  • Presnakova, I.
Abstract:
The present research provides a detailed textual analysis of David Bezmozgis’ recently published short story collection Immigrant City (2019). It expands on the author’s response to life in exile exercised in his fiction, namely short fiction, as projection to his thirteen years earlier released short story collection Natasha and Other Stories (2004). The main focus of the analysis is on the treatment of the perception of the past and its reflection in memory. Various modes of memory, as justified by various scholars, are commonly found in the texts on an autobiographical dimension, wherein David Bezmozgis, a Canadian writer of Latvian origin, can be attested to. The phenomenon of memory in the given literary context is interpreted as an emotional construct and a personality’s aspiration for something in the past. The given narratives reveal the thoughts, feelings and fraternal understanding between the ones living outside their natural environment, immigrants, former or current. Irrespective of their race, nation or locality, they all are overwhelmed by the same existential questions, Who am I? How far have I stayed from my formative self? Emigration issue and associated with it traumas, struggles and ambitions have been put forward as a new challenge for modern global society and men of letters. The characters in Immigrant City are set into the situation of this contemporary universally acclaimed realia, i.e. migration problems in modern world seen retrospectively. Remembrance of recurrent events across the life span of his protagonists depicts the emotions associated with these memories, not always nostalgic. Moreover, we are shown how the problem is solved and treated by the very young generation. The temporal dimension seems to fall into then and now but eventually the demarcation lines are fading. In practical application, studying manifestation of memory in the short story collection Immigrant City proved an effective resource for understanding the constraints of national identity, one of the transparent themes in the works of emigre writers, namely Latvian, of the last two centuries. The findings of the research can extent the scope of fundamental research by Latvian scholars on diaspora issues.
SGEM Research areas:
Year:
2020
Type of Publication:
In Proceedings
Keywords:
memory; exile; immigrant; the past; David Bezmozgis; Canadian writer; Latvian roots
Volume:
7
SGEM Book title:
7th SWS International Scientific Conference on Arts And Humanities - ISCAH 2020
Book number:
1
SGEM Series:
SWS International Scientific Conferences on ART and HUMANITIES - ISCAH
Pages:
115-122
Publisher address:
51 Al. Malinov blvd, Sofia, 1712, Bulgaria
SGEM supporters:
SWS Scholarly Society; Acad Sci Czech Republ; Latvian Acad Sci; Polish Acad Sci; Russian Acad Sci; Serbian Acad Sci & Arts; Natl Acad Sci Ukraine; Natl Acad Sci Armenia; Sci Council Japan; European Acad Sci, Arts & Letters; Acad Fine Arts Zagreb Croatia; C
Period:
25-27 August, 2020
ISBN:
978-619-7603-00-2
ISSN:
2682-9940
Conference:
7th SWS International Scientific Conference on Arts And Humanities - ISCAH 2020, 25-27 August, 2020
DOI:
10.5593/sws.iscah.2020.7.1/s25.14
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