Urban Twinship: The Body of the Futuristic City in Jeff VanderMeer’s Veniss Underground

in Cityscapes of the Future
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This chapter strives to examine the relation between the urbanite and the city he resides in and to redefine the representation of the body in futuristic urban novels by using Jeff VanderMeer’s Veniss Underground as a case study, maintaining that the representation of characters’ corporeality is inevitably entangled with the corporeality of the city. By tracing the characters’ disengagement from their physical bodies, this chapter explores the ways in which the narrative compensates for the aforementioned disparity, including the personification of the city, the formation of the post-human, the use of decadent technology and the poetics of violence. In addition, the article discusses the contribution of postmodernism to the formation of the surreal body of the city by tracing the collapse of the characterisation body from the collapse of master narratives and onto the collapse of unifying systems of meaning and understanding.

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