The foreigner phenomenon in the novel Material Fatigue by Marek Šindelka

Jakov Sabljić & Tina Varga Oswald, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Osijek;         Abstract: The foreigner phenomenon has so far been discussed in various fields of humanities and social sciences. The knowledge about foreigners is not an exclusive area of any research discipline, and any talk about the foreigner phenomenon implies interdisciplinary approach. Therefore, scholarly discussions include discussions on the status of the foreigner figure primarily in social or cultural anthropology, sociology, cultural studies, and semiotics. The paper contributes to the research of the foreigner phenomenon in literature by interpreting the novel Material Fatigue by Marek Šindelka in the context of semiotics of space, culture, communication, image and media. The foreigner is considered a symbol of the social and spatial relations of distance and proximity, remoteness, foreignness and the unknown. The analysis and interpretation is particularly focused on the position of foreigners in the context of migrations from the Middle East to the European West. The aim is to clarify the literary (re)construction of the image of foreigners, i.e. migrants, refugees, displaced persons and asylum seekers, who, in fear of death and in search of a better life, are leaving the Middle East and heading towards the countries of the European Union. The literary (re)construction of the foreigner in the novel is articulated on the level of theme, motif, plot, character, language and style.

 

Keywords: foreigner, Marek Šindelka, images of the Other, stereotypes, prejudice

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