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Garbage as the Global Metaphor of Human Imperfection
A Transnational Study of Latife Tekin’s Berji Kristin: Tales from the Garbage Hills and Paul Auster’s In the Country of Last Things
Yesim Ersoy (Dokuz Eylul University, Izmir, Turkey) [BIO]
In his novel, In the Country of Last Things (1987), Paul Auster depicts the story of a young protagonist, Anna Blume journeying in the devastated streets of post apocalyptic New York full of wretched urbanites trying to survive on the material wastes of their own collapsed civilization. Similarly, Latife Tekin in her novel Berji Kristin: Tales from the Garbage Hills (1984) portrays the survival story of a community living on the chaotic margins of a Turkish metropolis and transforming garbage into a means of resource and hope. Regardless of the national borders and cultural differences, both novels make a critique of contemporary urban life and consumer societies through the metaphorical use of garbage as the epitome of impurity of human existence on earth and failure of the urban ideals nourishing faith in progress and prosperity.