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Environment, Space, Place

Volume 1, Issue 2, Fall 2009

John H. Fritz
Pages 131-152
DOI: 10.7761/ESP.1.2.131

Edward Casey and the Lost Boys
Displacement and Desolation

In this essay, the author employs Edward S. Casey’s philosophy of place in order to perform a reading of Dave Eggers’ recent biographical novel, What is the What (2007). This reading is dependant upon certain concepts that Casey articulates in Getting Back Into Place (1993) and Remembering (2000), particularly the concepts of displacement, desolation, and homesteading. After an exegesis of these concepts, the author employs them in order to better understand the life of Valentino Achak Deng, one of the so-called ‘Lost Boys’ from southern Sudan. Since his life is largely a narrative of displacements, Deng’s story provides us with an exceptionally rich opportunity to implement Casey’s articulation of place.