Horizontal vertigo and psychasthenia
Border figures of the fantastic
in Border images, border narratives
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This chapter examines the aesthetics of the border by focusing on spatial border figures in situations where the sense of borders as constructs that articulate spatial frames and generate an impression of realism fails to provide this function. By analysing a set of twentieth-century fantastic narratives written in Spanish, French and English that mediate between realities and imaginaries in their treatment of borders, it examines their discourse of boundaries ontologically, narratologically and thematically. What is of particular interest is the function of two specific tropes that transgress the ‘realistic’ system of boundaries, operating according to the physics and logics of our extratextual world: horizontal vertigo – the loss of the border that puts an end to a physical space – and spatial psychasthenia – fusion of the body in space. Through analyses of fantastic texts by J.G. Ballard, Rosa Chacel and the TV episode ‘El asfalto’ from the classic Spanish series Historias para no dormir, the chapter shows the relevance of the fantastic for understanding of these border figures as well as border narratives and the configuration of human spatiality more generally.

Border images, border narratives

The political aesthetics of boundaries and crossings

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