Heynen, Nik, Maria Kaika, and E. He sees humans undergoing the same basic struggle as insects to survive, and awareness of and consideration for their hunger set him apart from the other humans around him. You are commenting using your Google account. Multiculturalism, immigration, Canada, liminality, postmodern, fiction, literature The Canadian government is often praised and, in fact, often praises itself for its official policies on multiculturalism and immigration. Wadworth Cengage Learning, They despise this world and therefore they are engaged in the constant act of covering themselves up — covering their faces, their feet, their nails, their breath, their decaying bodies.
Help Center Find new research papers in: He holds down a job as a bus boy in an Iranian restaurant. His job at the restaurant, for instance, is to segregate food from waste and to discard the latter down the drain He forbade me from looking at the stars, and threatened me with jail. In the novel, no human-made space functions as a closed system that the non-human cannot penetrate: You know how to find us.
The Political Ecology of Urban Hunger. The most striking example comes near the end of the book when the narrator recalls an earlier experience in the host country: Of course, Hage ties the artificiality of the identity that she projects back to her relationship with food: Waste makes the protagonist anxious: She is so committed to performing the role of the cultured woman that she must ignore the filth, poverty, and suffering around her to preserve her sense of self.
He sees humans undergoing the same basic struggle as insects to survive, and awareness of and consideration for their hunger set him apart from the other esday around him. Where all you would be looking at is walls and men in the shower, he said, and his partner laughed.
Some lady had complained that I was looking into her bedchamber and called them.
The refusal to fully accept either identity is reinforced by the namelessness that marks both the narrator and his country of origin — a familiar convention of postmodern and contemporary Canadian literature. Why did he try to kill himself?
In the background we hear about his former life in Beirut: Just keep your eyes on what is going on down in the underground. Log In Sign Up. But the language that he uses to describe the drain seems to align it with egalitarianism rather than hierarchy: Eating Bodies in the Nineteenth Century. Remember me on this computer. Yet it is here within this liminal space that his nameless narrator is able to succeed.
Particularly, I am thinking of Taxi staring Cofkroach DeNiro, another tale of isolation and the underworld, which culminates in an act of violence. I stress this because this is the moment in the text where the narrator seems to be the most accepted by the dominant culture and is allowed to gain access to that world.
In choosing a morally questionable protagonist who clearly lacks integrity to be the vehicle for these criticisms, Hage puts the various approaches to consumption that the novel presents into perspective, and he thus advances a more critical approach to modern food culture and prompts a re-evaluation of the relationships between humans and the spaces that sustain them.
Even the human elements of his character are products of contradictions: In the foreground we follow his bleak, daily routine in Montreal. Skip to main content.
Cockfoach makes his awareness of his influence on his environment evident, stating that he has no desire to become an invasive species himself: Studies in Canadian Literature, vol. In the meantime, Cockroach is a great book for Canadians and especially Montrealers to read, if they enjoy a little trip down the sink drain. He shadows his acquaintances and breaks into their houses.
Skip to content Having attempted to hang himself from a tree, the unnamed narrator of Cockroach must meet with a psychiatrist after his release from a state-run clinic. At the same time, though, it must be noted how impossible it is to present a space of liminality as a place of possibility without a great deal of what Linda Hutcheon calls postmodern irony.
In this way, his perspective functions as a useful foil for modern consumption habits. As a result, the narrator is often wavering between retaining his cultural identity and transforming in order to survive. Here is a typical blighted flight, the bus boy cursing humanity: The narrator desires to fit into normal, legitimate, acceptable society because his very survival depends on it, but in order to do so he must transform into someone that he’s not.
Even when it comes to the instances of metaphorical consumption that critics such as Lapierre address, the speaker is not blameless: But I was filled with greed. This sentence clearly illustrates that the taste or quality of a meal matters very little to the narrator; it is simply the fact that he can satiate his hunger with it that gives it value in his eyes.
Billions of farmers, forgers, waitresses, and housewives stand on roofs and look around and smoke, hang laundry and contemplate.