Aktivitet: Foredrag og mundtlige bidrag › Konferenceoplæg
Beneath the seemingly stable cityscape of Dionne Brand’s What We All Long For lies a sense of uncertainty and vulnerability: The protagonist, Tuyen, a second-generation Canadian, must negotiate her own position in Torontonian society while continually “translating” the city for her immigrant parents. This vulnerability is revealed partly through the novel’s preoccupation with material goods. In her cluttered flat, Tuyen creates artistic assemblages out of found objects, both familial and foreign. In their juxtaposition, these objects become imbued with meaning in a way that takes them beyond the status of mere possessions and turns them into metonyms of loss and symbols of precarity. By considering possessions as a form of attachment in the novel, this paper aims to show, pace Bruno Latour, how literature is able to create “matters of concern” out of “matters of fact”: in this case, by translating the condition of vulnerability into something that demands our care and attention.