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Monica Germanà

This chapter investigates representations of London from the late twentieth century to the other side of the millennial threshold; the complex layers of the urban palimpsest are explored in relation to Peter Ackroyd’s Hawksmoor, Martin Amis’s London Fields, Emma Tennant’s Two Women of London, Alan Moore’s graphic novel From Hell and Michael Winterbottom’s film Wonderland. Despite the nihilistic stance that many texts appear to propose, this analysis demonstrates that traces of redemption are also visible in many of these postmodernist representations of London. The metamorphic city thus becomes a paradoxical dimension where metropolitan lives, though apparently entrenched in the claustrophobic space of their urban experience, may give in to the magical openness of chance. Moreover, beyond the spectral gaps, a glimpse of the ‘real’ may appear unexpectedly