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Lecture 18

Lecture 18 – Squatter.docx

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ENGL 1000Y

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Lecture 18 – Squatter
Everybody poops, but toilets are cultural
This story is the fine (and messy) balance between these two
Toilets are cultural
oThink about really old outhouses vs very modern washrooms in Europe
After you are done, the toilet completely cleans itself out (fool-
Being able to use a north American toilet is some kind of assimilation?
Not being able to sleep using a pillow
Eating with a fork
Items of clothing
Abject: that which is cast out from the body, for which a person feels shame
or disgust
oA very powerful category because of the incredible emotions it raises
(urine, mucous – all these things that we expel that signify death/decay –
there are strong emotional reactions to them)
oThe act of defecation is also a moment of extreme vulnerability
oThe manner by which the central character defecates – BY SQUATTING!
A squatter also refers to someone who illegally occupies a building
or a land
Squatting always refers to moments of cultural tension – a squatter
is usually of a different race than the dominant group or a lower
Squatters themselves can be the abject members of a
o“This is not a squatter’s colony!” (FIND IT!)
“In his own apartment Sarosh… of xenophobia and hostility.”
oHe’s in a public washroom, there are signs in terms of what’s going on in
the cubicle
oThat’s the central metaphor of the story??
Story and Discourse
oThe events that are being narrated
oDiscourse – the way the events are narrated
We do have the illusion of a transparent narrator who is telling a
story about a story?
But it’s not transparent because we get really DETAILED
accounts of the story and detailed INTERUPTIONS
oThings that are made visible
Opening paragraph
What starts off the story is this recurrent time; whenever he
did this
oWhat that suggests is that we’re starting to get into
some kind of ritualized space; not unique events

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