A city that she must postpone: The Parisian geography of Kate O'Brien's Bildungsromane

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This essay explores the significance of the specific sites that dominate O'Brien's representations of self-development in her novels set in Paris. Building on the central position that critics allocate to Paris, this article asserts that O'Brien's representation of Bakhtinian 'becoming'demonstrates a clear relationship between the type of space and the type of development available to the protagonist. Since space determines growth, O'Brien's Parisian novels only achieve the characteristic open growth when they include the geography of the Left Bank. This argument bridges the spatial turn, studies of the Bildungsroman, and O'Brien's European fiction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-53
Number of pages15
JournalIrish University Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 1 2018


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Literature and Literary Theory

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