World Literature

Islam, Migrancy, and Hospitality in Europe by Meyda Yeğenoğlu

By Meyda Yeğenoğlu

This ebook cuts throughout very important debates in cultural experiences, literary feedback, politics, sociology, and anthropology. Meyda Yegenoglu brings jointly various theoretical strands within the debates relating to immigration, from Jacques Lacan's psychoanalytic realizing of the topic formation, to Zygmunt Bauman's inspiration of the stranger.

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The notion of haunting that Derrida develops is an attempt to disrupt the priority of presence with the figure of the ghost. In other words, the figure of the ghost is an attempt to capture a life-form that is neither absent nor present, 32 ● Islam, Migrancy, and Hospitality in Europe neither dead nor alive. It refers to an irrecoverable intrusion of otherness into our world (Davis 2005, 373). Frederic Jameson puts hauntology in “Marx’s Purloined Letter” (1995), as follows: Spectrality does not involve the conviction that ghosts exist or that the past (and maybe even the future they offer to prophesy) is still very much alive and at work, within the living present: all it says, if it can be thought to speak, is that the living present is scarcely as self-sufficient as it claims to be; that we would do well not to count on its density and solidity, which might under exceptional circumstances betray us.

The guiding question of this chapter is the following: how is one’s mode of inhabiting a space altered and what bodily and subjective transformations are fostered when that space is populated by those who are deemed exterior to that space? How do the unequal conditions of border-crossing structure migrants’ and tourists’ relation to one another’s space differently? Taking its point of departure from Henri Lefebvre’s notion of spatiality, this chapter brings together Zygmunt Bauman’s notion of “stranger” with Julia Kristeva’s concept of the abject to engage with the First World subject’s relation to cultural difference.

If an object which I hold in my hands is solid, I can let go when I please; its inertia symbolizes for me my total power Yet there is the slimy reversing the terms; . . I open my hands, I want to let go off the slimy and it sticks to me, it draws me, it sucks at me. I am no longer the master in arresting the process of appropriation. In one sense it is like the supreme docility of the possessed, the fidelity of a dog who gives himself even when one does not want him any longer, and in another sense there is underneath this docility a surreptitious appropriation of the possessor by the possessed.

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