Possibilities from the Peripheries: Time, Space and the Body in the Australian Drug Writing of Helen Garner and Luke Davies

In: Intervening Spaces
Author: Nycole Prowse

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Abstract

This section begins with an analysis of the leaky representations of time, space and the body in drug literature. It is selected as the opening chapter of this section because of its theoretical approach, as well as the thematic focus of the way in which interventions upon the body (via the drug trope) are reflective of the way the body is inhabited by and inhabits space. For this examination, this chapter utilises Elizabeth Grosz’s understanding of how bodies live and are positioned as spatio-temporal beings. Grosz suggests that ‘…in order to reconceive bodies, and to understand the kinds of active interrelations possible between (lived) representations of the body and (theoretical) representations of space and time, the bodies of each sex need to be accorded the possibility of a different space-time framework’. This chapter proposes that drug literature provides a platform where alternative corporeal possibilities can be played out. In the literary sphere the drug trope reframes spatial and temporal regulatory notions of the body. The drug metaphor disrupts temporal linearity through the reconfiguration of junk time. Likewise, landscapes, cityscapes and a sense of place are re-imagined in fluid, drugged dreamscapes.