The Search for Sanctuary: Marilynne Robinson's Housekeeping and E. Annie Proulx's the shipping news

Publikation: Beiträge in ZeitschriftenZeitschriftenaufsätzeForschungbegutachtet


Based on the writings of the German philosopher Hans Blumenberg, this article establishes the longing for security and sanctuary as a central motif in neo-realist literature. The failure to achieve this goal - exemplified in Marilynne Robinson's novel Housekeeping - results in a feeling Martin Heidegger appropriately calls "Unheimlichkeit." While neo-realist protagonists are as lost as their postmodern counterparts, they nevertheless become aware of their situation and - more often than not - manage to change it by applying two basic anthropological distancing methods: attributing names to the numinous and telling stories about it. After postmodern efforts to deconstruct even the slightest search for rootedness, meaning, and truth, the protagonists' awareness of fundamental human needs suggests a significant shift towards an appropriation of basic anthropological concerns in contemporary literary discourse.

Seiten (von - bis)79-90
Anzahl der Seiten12
PublikationsstatusErschienen - 2004

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