The Manifestation of Presential Space in Don Berry’s Trask
Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
The essay is a phenomenological study of Don Berry’s novel Trask (1960), demonstrating that experiential priority is given in the text to what Erwin Straus and Otto Bollnow call presential [präsentisch] space. The investigation analyses the difference between two forms of such space. On the one hand presential space is constituted automatically. This happens for the mountain man through the relentless momentum of long-distance trekking. On the other hand presential space is constituted as a mystical terminus of a tribal quest preceded by years of extreme self- discipline. Although such tribal ‘Searching’ is designed to lead to a sublime space- experience devoid of human agency and control, only agency and control make that happen. The essay proposes that, in the text, this structural contradiction makes traditional-cultural attainment of presential space less subtle than the automatic constitution of presential space that happens effortlessly on long mountain trails, without the consciousness-engineering of shamanistic choreography. By lacking any interest in ‘the Searching,’ and thus not programming himself for mystical enlightenment, the rapturous end of Trask’s half-hearted ‘Searching’ adventure comes across as a miracle rather than as reward for socially approved self-discipline. When mystical clairvoyance in this way finally comes to Trask, without him ever really having sought it, its perfectly gratuitous materialization becomes an extension of presential moments given with equal gratuitousness on the mountain trail. In the last analysis, mystical enlightenment in Trask is not the outcome of any striving but something that emerges effortlessly from sustained walking and from the stillness in which it pauses to renew its momentum.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 24 p.
Don Berry, Trask, presential space, presential movement, trekking, Erwin Straus, Otto Bollnow, phenomenology
Specific Languages General Literature Studies
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-86395OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-86395DiVA: diva2:586888