A Reading of Alexander Motyl’s Fall River Through the Lenses of Bordermemories
Keywords:borderscape, borderland, border zones, memories, American Ukrainian national minority
AbstractThis paper examines the concepts of borderlands, borderscapes, and bordermemories as cultural discursive practices that have been extensively presented and analyzed in an increasing number of theoretical works in Border Studies. Contemporary American Ukrainian writers have made attempts to introduce their hybrid experience and include it into American culture. One of them is Alexander J. Motyl, whose novel Fall River (2014) is analyzed as an example of border writing. The novel is based on the author’s narrative memory, rooted in his mother’s stories about Ukraine and their family members’ crossings of borders in the interwar period and belonging to two cultures, Ukrainian and American, that shaped their identities.
Amante, Maria, Fatima de. “Local Discursive Strategies for the Cultural Construction of the Border: The Case of the Portuguese-Spanish Border.” Journal of Borderlands Studies 25.1 (2010): 99–114.
Anderson, Benedict R. Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. London: Verso, 1991.
Anzaldua, Gloria. Borderlands = La frontera. San Francisco, CA: Aunt Lute Books, 1987.
Diener, Alexander C. “The Borderland Existence of the Mongolian Kazakhs: Boundaries and the Construction of Territorial Belonging.” In The Ashgate Research Companion to Border Studies, edited by Doris Wastl-Walter, 373–93. Burlington, Vt.: Ashgate, 2011.
Dudycz Lupescu, Valya. The Silence of Trees. Chicago, IL: Wolfsword Press, 2010.
Hryhorczuk, Daniel. Caught in the Current. Minneapolis, MN: Langdon Street Press, 2013.
Jay, Paul. Contingency Blues: The Search for Foundations in American Criticism. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1997.
Melnyczuk, Askold. The Ambassador of the Dead. Washington, D. C.: Counterpoint Press, 2001.
Melnyczuk, Askold. The House of Widows. Saint Paul, Minn.: Graywolf Press, 2008.
Melnyczuk, Askold. “Under Western Eyes: Images of Ukraine in Contemporary
American Fiction.” In American Literature at the Edge of 20th and 21st Centuries, edited by Tamara Denysova (Proceedings of the Second International Conference on American Literature, Kyiv, September 24–26, 2002), 426–44. Kyiv: Institute of International Relations Publishers, 2004.
Melnyczuk, Askold. What is Told. Boston: Faber and Faber, 1994.
Moffett, Dan. “Is an Immigrant Considered First or Second Generation?” Thought Co. Accessed August 22, 2018. https://www.thoughtco.com/first-generationimmigrant-defined‑1951570.
Motyl, Alexander J. Ardor: Or How Would-be Nobel Prize Winner C. Milosz Enjoyed the High Life with Low Life in Italy, Hobnobbed with a Viktor Yanukovych Look-Alike, and Met His Muse on the Rooftop of the Duomo. Augusta, Georgia: Anaphora Literary Press, 2016.
Motyl, Alexander J. Fall River. Marlboro, NJ: Alternative Book Press, 2014.
Motyl, Alexander J. Flippancy. New York: Cantara Books, 2007.
Motyl, Alexander J. My Orchidia. Baltimore, MD: BrickHouse Books, 2012.
Motyl, Alexander J. Sweet Snow: A Novel of the Ukrainian Famine of 1933. Somerville, Massachusetts: Cervená Barva Press, 2013.
Motyl, Alexander J. The Jew Who was Ukrainian: Or How One Man’s Rip-Roaring Romp Through an Existential Wasteland Ended in a Bungled Attempt to Bump off the Exceptionally Great Leader of Mother Russia. Somerville, Massachusetts: Cervená Barva, 2011.
Motyl, Alexander J. Vovochka: The True Confessions of Vladimir Putin’s Best Friend and Confidant. Augusta, Georgia: Anaphora Literary Press, 2015.
Motyl, Alexander J. Whiskey Priest. New York: iUniverse, 2005.
Motyl, Alexander J., Ivanov, Aleksandr. Who Killed Andrei Warhol: The American Diary of a Soviet Journalist by Oleksandr Ivanov: A Novel. Santa Ana, CA: Seven Locks Press, 2007.
Naydan, Michael M. Seven Signs of the Lion. London: Glagoslav Publications Ltd., 2016.
Porter, Carolyn. “What We Know That We Don’t Know: Remapping American Literary Studies.” American Literary History 6.3 (1994): 467–526.
Rajaram, Prem Kumar, and Carl Grundy-Warr. Borderscapes: Hidden Geographies and Politics at Territory’s Edge. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2007.
Schimanski, Johan and Stephen F. Wolfe, eds. Border Aesthetics: Concepts and Intersections. New York: Berghahn, 2017.
Stelmach, Orest. The Altar Girl. Seattle: Thomas & Mercer, 2015.
Stelmach, Orest. The Boy from Reactor 4. Seattle: Thomas & Mercer, 2013.
Stelmach, Orest. The Boy Who Glowed in the Dark. Seattle: Thomas & Mercer, 2014.
Stelmach, Orest. The Boy Who Stole from the Dead. Seattle: Thomas & Mercer, 2014.
Volkan, Vamik D. “Transgenerational Transmissions and Chosen Traumas.” Scribd.com. Accessed 18 November 2017. https://ru. scribd. com/document/119720453/
Wastl-Walter, Doris, ed. The Ashgate Research Companion to Border Studies. Burlington, Vt.: Ashgate, 2011.
Welz, Claudia. “Trauma, Memory, Testimony: Phenomenological, Psychological, and Ethical Perspectives.” Jewish Studies in the Nordic Countries Today 27 (2016): 104–33.
Wilson, Thomas M. and Donnan Hastings, ed. A Companion to Border Studies. Chichester, West Sussex: Wiley Blackwell, 2012.
Zabytko, Irene. The Sky Unwashed. Chapel Hill, N. C.: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2000.
Zabytko, Irene. When Luba Leaves Home. Chapel Hill, N. C.: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2003.
Kyiv-Mohyla Humanities Journal provides free access to original research without restriction barriers (i.e. subscription fees, licensing fees etc.). The journal allows re-use of content for non-commercial/educational purposes indexing the source.
Unless otherwise indicated, content is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license, which means you are free to:
and make commercial use of the work
...provided that any use is made with attribution to author(s) and Kyiv-Mohyla Humanities Journal.
The author passes copyright of the article to the journal and Kyiv-Mohyla Humanities Journal; author can archive post-print articles (PDF versions) on s/he web-site (http://www.sherpa.ac.uk).