Writing the City: Literature and the Urban Experience

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'The expression of human experience it embodies ... includes all personal history'.
Saul Bellow's view of the city is far from that of classic geographical descriptions which look at growth or decline, demographic patterns, traffic flows and economic potential: these empirically conceived models of urban geography fail to accommodate the crucial human aspect of city life.
Located at the interface of geography and literature, Writing the City visualizes the city through the hopes, aspirations, disappointments and pains of international novelists and creative writers. From Manchester, Montreal and
Sydney to Osaka, Varanasi amd Odessa, cities become more than their built environment, more than a set of class or economic relationships: they are also an experience to be lived, suffered and undergone.
Thus cities are seen in terms of the innocence of an Eden now lost, a threat of sinful Babylon and the promise of a New Jerusalem.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415106672
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 10/28/1994
  • Pages: 368
  • Age range: 18 years
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Table of Contents

List of maps and figures
Notes on contributors
1 Introduction: Writing the City 1
2 Belfast: Bernard Mac Laverty's Heart of Darkness 17
3 Manchester and Milton-Northern: Elizabeth Gaskell and the Industrial Town 31
4 Contrasting the Nature of the Written City: Helsinki in Regionalistic Thought and as a Dwelling-Place 59
5 The St. Petersburg of Oblomov and Crime and Punishment 81
6 City-Icon in a Poetic Geography: Pushkin's Odessa 95
7 Very Different Montreals: Pathways through the City and Ethnicity in Novels by Authors of Different Origins 109
8 City Primeval: High Noon in Elmore Leonard's Detroit 125
9 Willa Cather as a City Novelist 149
10 A Place of Tombs: The Charleston of William Gilmore Simms 173
11 Jerusalem in S. Y. Agnon's Yesterday Before Yesterday 195
12 Modern Varanasi: Place and Society in Shivprasad Singh's Street Turns Yonder 221
13 Chikamatsu's Osaka 243
14 Gazing on Apartheid: Post-Colonial Travel Narratives of the Golden City 257
15 Tinsel Town: Sydney as Seen through the Eyes of Christina Stead 287
16 Transgressing Boundaries: Isabel Allende's Santiago De Chile 307
17 Eden, Babylon, New Jerusalem: A Taxonomy for Writing the City 331
Index 342
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