ABSTRACT

Works of literature are redolent of spaces and places, yet conventionally the study of literature in general is not characterized by an equal interest in place-making as a space-making as an essential aspect of literary production. 1 While place, or places, is referenced in literary production as the contextual grounding or presupposition for the narrated events, the result of such representations of place – space – often recedes from view in the study of literary works in the focus on the narrated flow of events and the characters acting out their interventions as constituents of events. 2 We take, as a matter of course, that literary works have to “set” their contents in a “setting” in order to communicate, to be about something: place as the context of the represented actions and events (things happen somewhere); place as mood setting (creating the affective interaction with the text contents); place as the grounding of description and narration (the mimetic quality of the work, its credibility and veracity – or lack of it, as in fantasy literature; often providing the generic clues to the reception of the work); place and space as focalizers of point of view in narrative; and place as symbolic (providing a meaning structure to the narrated contents). In the history of literary interpretation, in various fields of the study of various kinds of literary production, these have received their due attention, and it is not my intention to revisit these aspects of settings, contexts, and place/space in literary communication. 3