World Literature

A Home at the End of the World: A Novel by Michael Cunningham

By Michael Cunningham

From Michael Cunningham, the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer of The Hours, comes this largely praised novel of 2 boyhood buddies: Jonathan, lonely, introspective, and uncertain of himself; and Bobby, hip, darkish, and inarticulate. In manhattan after collage, Bobby strikes in with Jonathan and his roommate, Clare, a veteran of the city's erotic wars. Bobby and Clare fall in love, scuttling the plans of Jonathan, who's homosexual, to father Clare's baby. Then, while Clare and Bobby have a toddler, the 3 stream to a small residence upstate to elevate "their" baby jointly and, with a wierd good friend, Alice, create a brand new type of kin. A domestic on the finish of the World masterfully depicts the charged, fragile relationships of city existence today.

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Gabriele’s relation to her own body is a political one: her notional crime is at the same time ‘Selbstverst¨ummelung’ and ‘Staatsverleumdung’ (TamK 70). Where the body is considered to be a metonymic representation of the state, self-mutilation is an attack on public property. The police force Gabriele’s surgeon father to cover the scar with a skin graft—thus undoing the deed and exculpating the state, but also repeating the mutilation it was intended to cover, an act which echoes the Czech authorities’ treatment of Palach’s body.

State control over the body and its meaning, even in the private sphere and even its interior spaces, was absolute. The third area in which the Romanian state instrumentalized bodies was in the international arena of sport, which links the Eastern Bloc communist countries. Referring to West German sports personalities, in the essay ‘Und noch erschrickt unser Herz’, M¨uller writes, ¨ Es bleibt ein großer Freiraum f¨ur sie offen: denn das Land druckt sie in keinen Sieg, und kein Verlieren a¨ ngstigt sie vor dem Staat.

63 Irigaray invokes the figure of the hysteric here, whose gestures are both paralysed and faked, who both suffers and laughs. In doing so, she posits a second possible strategy for expressing female subjectivity other than suffering: laughter. Laughter represents the potential to resist, subvert, and undermine, which is in part due to its being rooted in the body. 64 It represents a form of opposition which cannot be pinned down in binary structures. In literature, laughter is further linked to mimicry through parody, a mode which plays an important role in the work of Mon´ıkov´a and Hensel.

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