What happened in the Sahara? A transition over the bound of semi-consciousness in Paul Bowles’ The Sheltering Sky

Sina Movaghati


Paul Bowles’ prodigious novel, The Sheltering Sky, is an epitome of a narrative about the Modern Man and his existentialistic dilemmas. After six decades from its initial publication, The Sheltering Sky, still, attracts multitudinous attention for its esoteric and abstruse nature of the occurrences. In regard to nomadic-diasporic lifestyle of the author, and his protagonists, normally, many critical approaches to the text have shifted toward hyper-textual perusals. By mentioning the noteworthy scholarly works which have been done hitherto, this article tries to be faithful to the text as much as possible, and elucidates the myth that, what has really happened in the Sahara which coerced the protagonists to forget their identities to this great extent; thus, hectic and deranged, divagating in the desert, inclining toward the destruction of their identities. In this article, in regard to textual substantiations, ‘Sand’ and ‘Time’ are adduced as the two crucial elements which balance two main protagonists’ state of semi-consciousness, in the inside journey of self. Also, the concept of ‘humanistic identity,’ from Bowles’ viewpoint, in connexion to the setting of the novel, will be discussed.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.21533/epiphany.v9i3.232


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