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Abstract

This paper will discuss the creative potential of liminality. This idea will be developed through a discussion of the experience of the liminal position of the exiled individual and the examination of some personalities whose lives have been shaped by exile. This will encompass the dislocation of the individual from a ‘home’ space into a situation of homelessness, the reworking of the individual’s identity in the unfamiliar environment and the resulting consequences of this shift. It will be argued that the exilic position is characterised by almost permanent liminality, as many situations will not result in a return to normality, i.e. return to the home. It will also be argued that the particular experience of dislocation/exile affords a certain perspective which could not have been gained from remaining at home, and that homelessness therefore breeds innovation and creativity.

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