Wladimir Fischer-Nebmaier / Matthew P. Berg / Anastasia Christou (Hg.)
What comes to mind first when reading a book title like Narrating the City are probably city novels like Dickens’s A Tale of Two Cities or his other London stories, or perhaps Émile Zola’s Le Ventre de Paris, Alexander Belyj’s Peterburg, or Alfred Döblin’s Berlin Alexanderplatz, and of course Baudelaire’s Paris poems. This linkage of the city and narration is not limited to the classical period of urban modernity, as is evident from more-recent titles like Paul Auster’s New York Trilogy or Orhan Pamuk’s Istanbul. The city has been the topic of so many central literary texts that it seems that modern literature is somehow inextricably linked with urbanity; as Richard Sennet has argued, literature sometimes captures urban phenomena better than academic writing. Sometimes novels set in the city have influenced how scholars in very different academic disciplines have thought about the city. Indeed, the writing of urban fiction has always been influenced by other discourses on urbanity —perhaps most prominently, as James Donald pointed out, the discourses on crime, disease, citizenship, and class struggle (consider Victor Hugo’s Paris, Jack London’s San Francisco, or Upton Sinclair’s Chicago). However, it is not only fictional writing that interlocks cities and stories, but it is also narration in a more general sense. This volume explores the interplay between the concepts of narration, space, and the everyday in the city through a variety of disciplinary and interdisciplinary lenses.
Oxford/New York: Berghahn Books 2015
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