Not Quite at Home: Architecture, Authenticity and Transmodernity in Rachel Seiffert's Architect

Christina Howes, Sara (ed) Martin (Editor), David (ed) Owen (Editor), Elisabet (ed) Pladevall (Editor)

Research output: Chapter in BookChapterResearch


Contemporary British writer Rachel Seiffert has attracted critical interest primarily within holocaust and trauma literary theory, particularly with its focus on post-memory and the problematics of reconciling memory and historical ‘truth’ in artistic representation in her award-winning novel, The Dark Room. This paper, however, addresses how Seiffert employs the spatial poetics of architecture, building and home to articulate a contemporary psychic-phenomenological reality through an exploration of the short story ‘The Architect’ in the collection Field Study (2005). Informed by philosophical notions of dwelling, unhomeliness, and a phenomenology of space, I argue that Seiffert’s spatial poetics may provide multiple interpretative possibilities, but essentially speaks to a critical assessment of the contemporary condition and I suggest evokes a dwelling based on humanistic values and, thus, gestures towards a philosophy of transmodernity. Keywords, anxiety, alienation, architecture, building, dwelling, home, nomadic, spatial poetics,
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPersistence and Resistance in English Studies. New Research
Place of PublicationNewcastle (GB)
PublisherCambridge Scholars Publishing
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)978-1-5275-0608-4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


  • Transmodernity, Literary Architecture, Authenticity, Heidegger


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