The Cambridge Companion to the City in Literature

The Cambridge Companion to the City in Literature

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From the myths and legends that fashioned the identities of ancient city-states to the diversity of literary performance in contemporary cities around the world, literature and the city are inseparably entwined. The international team of scholars in this volume offers a comprehensive, accessible survey of the literary city, exploring the myriad cities that authors create and the genres in which cities appear. Early chapters consider the literary legacies of historical and symbolic cities from antiquity to the early modern period. Subsequent chapters consider the importance of literature to the rise of the urban public sphere; the affective experience of city life; the interplay of the urban landscape and memory; the form of the literary city and its responsiveness to social, cultural and technological change; dystopian, nocturnal, pastoral and sublime cities; cities shaped by colonialism and postcolonialism; and the cities of economic, sexual, cultural and linguistic outsiders.
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Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 6 b/w illus.
  • 1139989952
  • 9781139989954

Table of contents

Introduction Kevin R. McNamara; 1. Celestial cities and rationalist utopias Antonis Balasopoulos; 2. The city in the literature of antiquity Susan Stephens; 3. The medieval and early modern city in literature Karen Newman; 4. The spectator and rise of the modern metropole Alison O'Byrne; 5. Memory, desire, lyric: the flaneur Catherine Nesci; 6. Social science and urban realist narrative Stuart Culver; 7. The socio-economic outsider: labor and the poor Bart Keunen and Luc de Droogh; 8. The urban nightspace James R. Giles; 9. Masses, forces, and the urban sublime Christophe den Tandt; 10. Fragment and form in the city of modernism Arnold Weinstein; 11. Cities of the avant-garde Malcolm Miles; 12. Urban dystopias Rob Latham and Jeff Hicks; 13. Postmodern cities Nick Bentley; 14. Colonial cities Seth Graebner; 15. Postcolonial cities Caroline Herbert; 16. The translated city: immigrants, diasporans, and cosmopolitans Azade Seyhan; 17. Gay and lesbian urbanity Gregory Woods; 18. Some versions of urban pastoral Kevin R. McNamara and Timothy Gray.
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Review quote

'This volume provides a comprehensive examination of the city and its various meanings and contradictions ... The book transcends genre, period boundaries and national divisions, making it an important starting point for those interested in any aspect of the city.' Forum for Modern Language Studies
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About Kevin R. McNamara

Kevin R. McNamara is Professor of Literature at the University of Houston, Clear Lake. He is the author of Urban Verbs: Arts and Discourses of American Cities (1996) and the editor of The Cambridge Companion to the Literature of Los Angeles (2010). McNamara has published more than twenty articles primarily on cities and urban culture in such journals as Arizona Quarterly, Canadian Review of American Studies, College Literature, Contemporary Literature, Criticism, Interactions, the Journal of Urban History, and Prospects. His work has also been published in the Encyclopedia of American Studies ('The Idea of the City'), A Concise Companion to American Studies ('Regionalism'), and collections edited in the United States, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Turkey.
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