Babylon or New Jerusalem?

Perceptions of the City in Literature


Today more than ever literature and the other arts make use of urban structures – it is in the city that the global and universal joins the local and individual. Babylon or New Jerusalem? Perceptions of the City in Literature draws a map of the concept of the city in literature and represents the major issues involved. Contributions to the volume revisit cities such as the London of Wordsworth, Dorothy Richardson and Virginia Woolf or Rilke’s Paris, but also travel to the politics of power in Renaissance theatre at Ferrara and to deliberate urban erasures in post-apartheid South Africa. The texts represented range from Renaissance plays to contemporary novels and to poetry from various periods, with references to the visual arts, including film. The role of memory in contemplating the city and also specific urban metaphors developed in literature, such as boxing – the square ring – and jazz are also discussed. The transformation of cities by legislation on cemeteries, by lighting or by projects of urban renewal are the subject of articles, while others reflect on images of the city in worlds specifically forged by writers like William Blake and James Thomson. The contributors themselves live and work in many varied cities, thus representing a dynamic and real variety of critical approaches, and introducing a strong theoretical and comparative element.
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Table of contents

List of Illustrations
Preface 1 Joachim von der THÜSEN: The City as Metaphor, Metonym and Symbol
2 Ian ALMOND: Wordsworthian Comparisons with Augustine’s Civitas Dei
3 Rocco CORONATO: Ferrara in Volpone
4 James HOW: Geographical and Temporal Effects of the City on the Correspondence of the Countesses
of Hertford and Pomfret, 1738-41
5 C.C. BARFOOT: “Jerusalem” as City and Emanation: Places and People in Blake’s Poetry
6 Alan SHELSTON: Dickens and the Burial of the Dead
7 Robert DRUCE: Charting the Great Wen: Charles Dickens, Henry Mayhew, Charles Booth
8 Daniel KARLIN: Victorian Poetry of the City: Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Aurora Leigh
9 Valeria TINKLER-VILLANI: “Ruins of an Unremembered Past”: Poetic Strategies in James Thomson’s The City of Dreadful Night
10 Karlien van den BEUKEL: Arthur Symons’s Night Life
11 Deborah L. PARSONS: The “Passante” as “Flâneuse” in Dorothy Richardson’s Pilgrimage
12 Philip RAND: Paris of Maxime Du Camp: The Writer-Priest Becomes Reporter
13 Wim TIGGES: Facing the Truth: Two Belfast Novels
14 Doc ROSSI: The Horn of Babylon: Jazz and the Involution and Evolution of the Spirit in John Cellon Holmes’s The Horn
15 Kasia BODDY: The Square Circle in the City: The Boxing Tale as Urban Genre
16 Fredrik TYGSTRUP: The Literary City: Between System and Sensation
17 Annelise BALLEGAARD PETERSEN: City and Memory
18 Sara JAMES : Eugène Sue, G.W.M. Reynolds, and the Representation of the City as “Mystery”
19 John STOTESBURY: Urban Erasures and Renovations: Sophiatown and District Six in Post-Apartheid Literature
20 Françoise BESSON: Invisible and Broken Cities: The Image of a Quest in Nineteenth-Century European Travel Books or Mountaineering Accounts and Modern Native American Fiction
Notes on Contributors


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