Sleep Fictions: A Digital Companion

Sleep Spaces

This collection includes all notes related to the locality and geography of sleep, from region to immediate surroundings, and draws on "place studies," to explore the relationships between literature and cultural environments.

In the fiction featured here, these places and spaces are wide ranging. For privileged protagonists like Edith Wharton's Lily Bart or Henry James's Roderick Hudson, this might be a bedroom in a hotel, boarding-house, or bourgeois home. For the enslaved characters in Chesnutt's tales, a sleep space varies from a cotton pad in a shack to a hay pile on a barn floor to the clay ground of a riverbank to the mossy grass of a wooded area. For the white heroines of Gilman's Forerunner, this could be sleeping outdoors for restorative purposes, like the balcony treatment described in “Dr. Clair’s Place,” or conversely, for a Black domestic worker, brief rest only to be snatched on the couch of an employer's parlor. 

Related themes: Environment and Criminality

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