Literature and the Peripheral City

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2015-05-27
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
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Cities have always been defined by their centrality. But literature demonstrates that their diverse peripheries define them, too: from suburbs to slums, rubbish dumps to nightclubs and entire failed cities. The essays in this collection explore urban peripheries through readings of literature from four continents, taking the reader on a journey from global urban hubs such as London and New York to Nordic capitals and cities like Santiago and Johannesburg. The book shows powerfully that peripheral areas are essential to bo th urban fiction and the identities of cities. The urban experience keeps feeding on images from the margins and hinterlands, which help cities and their parts define themselves. Without peripheries there would be no centres.

Author Biography

Jason Finch is Lecturer in English Literature at Åbo Akademi University in Turku, Finland. He is the author of E. M. Forster and English Place: A Literary Topography (2011) and co-editor of two further collections. At present he is researching London slum writing and the transnational career of William Plomer.

Markku Salmela is University Lecturer in English Literature at the University of Tampere, Finland. His work is informed by a decidedly spatial approach to literary fiction while addressing the general areas of American literature, landscape studies, naturalism and postmodernism. He is also co-editor of The Grotesque and the Unnatural (2011).

Lieven Ameel is postdoctoral researcher at the University of Helsinki. He currently examines narratives in urban planning. Together with Sirpa Tani, he has published several articles on parkour. Recent publications include Helsinki in Early Twentieth-Century Literature (2014) and the co-edited volume Language, Space & Power: Urban Entanglements (2012).

Table of Contents

List of Figures
Notes on the Contributors
Introduction: Peripherality and Literary Urban Studies; Lieven Ameel, Jason Finch and Markku Salmela
1. Detroit and Paris, Paris as Detroit; Jeremy Tambling
2. 'It's Six A.M. Do You Know Where You Are?' Urban Peripherality and the Narrative Framing of Literary Beginnings; Lieven Ameel
3. The Peripheries of London Slumland in George Gissing and Alexander Baron; Jason Finch
4. A Topography of Refuse: Waste, the Suburb, and Pynchon's 'Low-lands'; Markku Salmela
5. London's East End in Peter Ackroyd's Dan Leno and the Limehouse Golem; Aleksejs Taube
6. The Configuration of Boundaries and Peripheries in Johannesburg as Represented in Selected Works by Ivan Vladislavic and Zakes Mda; Marita Wenzel
7. Hungry and Alone: The Topography of Everyday Life in Knut Hamsun and August Strindberg; Tone Selboe
8. A Forest on the Edge of Helsinki: Spatiality in Henrika Ringbom's Novel; Martina Dagers längtan and Topi Lappalainen
9. Eduard Vilde and Tallinn's Dynamic Peripheries, 1858-1903; Elle-Mari Talivee and Jason Finch
10. A Suburban Revision of Nostalgia: The Case of Ways of Going Home by Alejandro Zambra; Bieke Willem
11. From Windowsill to Underpass: Young Women's Spatial Orientation in Swedish Young Adult Literature; Lydia Wistisen
12. Centrifugal City: Centre and Periphery in Ricardo Piglia's La ciudad ausente; Nettah Yoeli-Rimmer

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