Dear departed: writing the lifeworlds of place

Lorimer, H. (2019) Dear departed: writing the lifeworlds of place. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 44(2), pp. 331-345. (doi: 10.1111/tran.12278)

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This paper is concerned with the lifeworlds of place, and the significant part that the storied word might play in them. It considers the modern disciplinary history of place study, and styles of creative geographical writing presently being employed to configure place as a lived phenomenon, with a past, present and future. Across the piece, an experiment in place‐portraiture unfolds, according to a series of episodes penned in non‐fiction prose. The muse for these meditations is an arresting site reserved for burying the remains of loved ones: a seaside pet cemetery. Deep diving into the cemetery's place lore, and the life of its custodian, “The Keeper,” the essay explores the loss, love and longing felt for domestic companion animals by grieving humans, the better to understand a nexus of geographies; variously, of memory, emotion, intimacy, responsibility and creativity. The essay closes by reflecting on how a sustained fusion of site, subject and style can give voice to a language of radical parochialism and, simultaneously, reset the wider representational project by which geographers engage proprietary feelings about place, its presumed fate and possible prospects. In its avoidance of a more conventional academic mode, and adoption of descriptive geographical narratives, the paper offers an alternate literary model by which pressing environmental challenges might yet be affectively articulated and addressed.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Lorimer, Professor Hayden
Authors: Lorimer, H.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
Journal Name:Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers
ISSN (Online):1475-5661
Published Online:16 November 2018
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers)
First Published:First published in Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 4:331–345
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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