From ‘non-place’ to ‘heterotopia’. Threat as a factor changing the status of space in "The Plague" by Albert Camus Cover Image

Od „nie-miejsca” do „heterotopii”. Zagrożenie jako czynnik zmieniający status przestrzeni w "Dżumie" Alberta Camusa
From ‘non-place’ to ‘heterotopia’. Threat as a factor changing the status of space in "The Plague" by Albert Camus

Author(s): Karol Rawski
Subject(s): French Literature
Published by: Wydział Filologiczny Uniwersytetu Gdańskiego
Keywords: city; space; heterotopia; non-place; plague;

Summary/Abstract: Words can create reality which is why they sometimes arouse fear in people, especially when they are denominations of threatening forces, unfavourable to men.In my article, I would like to discuss the problem of pestilence and the utterance hereof in Albert Camus’ Plague. Why did Dr. Rieux hesitate to clearly utter the threat? Why did other characters in the novel have no problem voicing “epidemic” out loud? And above all, what are the consequences of uttering a disease? How the word “plague” destroyed the existing spatial status of Oran as a non-place; how it became a gate to building a new spatial status structure based on a heterotopic labyrinth, which, from the moment of utterance of this terrible term, was completely subjugated to the plague. How does the word escape the doctor’s room? What is the role of the figure of window in the process of the name overcoming barriers and passing from the level of language to the level of reality? And finally, whether the rhythm analysis can become an answer, deafening and counteracting the still resounding threat contained in the word.

  • Issue Year: 2021
  • Issue No: 12
  • Page Range: 211-224
  • Page Count: 14
  • Language: Polish