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Dystopia and Euphoria: Time-Space Compression and the City

Beaumont, Alexander (2018) Dystopia and Euphoria: Time-Space Compression and the City. In: Pollard, Eileen and Schoene, Berthold, (eds.) Accelerated Times: British Literature in Transition, 1980-2000. British Literature in Transition . Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, pp. 273-288

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Abstract

This chapter examines the representation of urban space in British literature of the 1980s and 1990s. It begins by suggesting that such representations must be read in the light of the structural shifts within the composition of capitalism during the 1970s, which played themselves out in postmodern fiction over the course of the final two decades of the twentieth century. The chapter surveys representations of London during this period before suggesting that critical literature surrounding the ‘London literature’ has failed to recognise that the exceptionalism on which this genre is constructed is itself a consequence of a restructuring of the relationship between centre and periphery within the UK during the 1980s and 1990s. The chapter then addresses the representation of peripheral urban space through a sustained examination of Alasdair Gray’s Glasgow-set 1981 novel Lanark and Jeff Noon’s Manchester-set novels Vurt (1993) and Needle in the Groove (1999).

Item Type: Book Section
Additional Information: “This material has been published in 'Accelerated Times: British Literature in Transition, 1980-2000' edited by Eileen Pollard & Berthold Schoene. This version is free to view and download for personal use only. Not for re-distribution, re-sale or use in derivative works. © CUP.”
Status: Published
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN0080 Criticism
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
School/Department: School of Humanities, Religion & Philosophy
URI: http://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/2793

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