“Homelessness — for Home:” Emily Dickinson’s Sense of Place, Travel, and Becoming
本論文旨在探討十九世紀美國詩人艾蜜莉‧狄瑾森的旅行想像，剖析這位以隱居著稱的詩人如何透過書寫其旅行想像，顛覆「家」以及其所象徵的父權、統治與規範所加諸在她身上的箝制與干涉，進而獲得更大程度的自由、自主與解放。本文於第一章首先指出諸多評論家以孤僻、病態等原因解釋狄瑾森隱居癖好，係屬較偏頗的解讀，並試圖以德勒茲與葛塔力 (Deleuze and Guattari) 的「遊牧論述」輔以其他關於旅行如何帶來顛覆與轉變的討論，說明狄瑾森的書寫旅行成功地使她超脫家的限制、並於其想像的範疇中與外在世界相遇、互動。由於在談論旅行之前勢必先談論旅行的起點──「家」，本文第二章企圖客觀地呈現狄瑾森與家的關係：包含對於家的強烈歸屬感／地方感 (sense of place) 以及對於家庭生活中或體制上的諸多不滿，並尤其聚焦於後者，以進一步討論詩人如何藉由隱居寫作，而在想像的空間中開創另一個私密的平滑空間 (smooth space)，以抵抗並鬆動家權與父權體制。第三章則討論狄瑾森如何延展此一想像的空間，以其為基礎展開旅行，並運用旅行本質中的顛覆性與革變性，對於現實中的體制與規範進行徹底的去疆域化 (deterritorialization)。 在其想像的旅行中，詩人不斷與他者相遇，拆解固著路線 (rigid line) 上的各種體制箝制，逐漸達到自身的轉變與解放。因此，本文第四章便接著討論狄瑾森在旅行後於地方感認同的轉變、思想和身分的化蛻 (becoming)以及較大程度自由的獲得。即便狄瑾森想像的旅行通常以兩種不同結果作結：旅者回家，或是旅者因地方感的轉變而來到一個無家 (homelessness) 之境界，進而以「無家為家」，兩種旅行的結局事實上都見證了狄瑾森的解放與化蛻，旅者所返回的家已是一個截然不同的家、是下一趟旅行的新起點；抑或旅者選擇自由地馳騁、漫遊於無家的境界，持續進行著那永無終點或停止的旅行，不斷地化蛻。最後，第五章重申了在狄瑾森的想像旅行中，回家與否其實不是重點，而是在兩種情形下，詩人皆能成功地破除現實中家權、父權的體制與規範，在其隱居中開創新的空間任憑其自由創作。詩人的隱居其實是自發性且積極的對於外在世界的反動，期盼本論文的探討能為狄瑾森的隱居貢獻新的詮釋、賦予正面的肯定。
This thesis aims at exploring the travel imaginings of Emily Dickinson, a nineteenth-century American poet who was known for her seclusion, and analyzing how she sought to subvert domestic constraints, and the patriarchy, dominance, and rules that home embodies, and finally attain to a greater extent of freedom, autonomy, and liberation. The first chapter begins by pointing out that many Dickinson’s critics have unanimously ascribed her proclivity for seclusion to her unsociability or her suffering from mental illness. To provide an alternative reading of the poet’s seclusion, this thesis draws on Deleuze and Guattari’s nomadology as well as other theorists’ discussions on the subversive and transformative power of travel and tries to explain how Dickinson’s private writings about her imaginary travels have successfully led her to overcome domestic constraints and to encounter with the outside world despite her seclusion. Chapter Two provides a more comprehensive and objective discussion on Dickinson’s relationship with home. Both her strong sense of place toward home and her dissatisfaction with home are explored in detail, but with a particular focus on the latter, for those unpleasant circumstances are precisely the stimuli that encourage the poet to write poetry in her state of seclusion and thereby open up an alternative and private smooth space in her imaginary realm. Chapter Three then discusses how Dickinson expands this alternative space by going on imaginary journeys and comes to benefit from the subversive and transformative potential of travel. Traveling enables the poet to deterritorialize the rules and institutions in real life, and through the encounters in those journeys, she dissolves all the fixities of the rigid line and gradually moves toward the transformation and liberation of self. Chapter Four continues to display Dickinson’s “becomings” after her travels. Her journeys often end either with a return to home or with the arrival at a state of homelessness, but both endings can adequately manifest her successes in self-liberation and transformation of mind. The home that the traveler returns to is no longer the same home but is a (re)new(ed) start-point of her next journey, and if the traveler chooses to roam in that homeless state, she continues that endless journey and produces more becomings. The key is that Dickinson’s sense of place has been transformed; with a liberated mind, she is able to perceive everywhere as home. Lastly, Chapter Five reinforces the ideas that Dickinson’s imaginary travels have substantially helped her sabotage domestic and patriarchal institutions and that she is able to freely write poetry in her seclusion. The poet’s seclusion is actually an active, voluntary, and assertive act of resistance to the outside world instead of a passive retreat. It is anticipated that this thesis will contribute to the Dickinson scholarship by offering a more positive interpretation of her choice of seclusion.
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