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Old September 1 2012, 09:12 PM   #46
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Re: Literate Trek Novels

I wonder if Hollow Men by Una McCormack, with its wonderful London scenes, fits the remit of this article on the "London novel"? Certainly it felt like the author was alluding to much 'London' and British literature in her novel...

Other nations have written about their major cities in a compelling way, but very few have been able to talk about them as places where everyone, from every point on the scale, mixes. The encounters between beggars and countesses in Bleak House, or the daughters of the indigent, schoolmasters, clerks, intellectuals, society figures and millionaires living on dust-heaps in Our Mutual Friend are quite natural, and lead to compelling consequences. It goes on – the meeting between Leonard Bast and the Schlegel girls in E M Forster’s Howards End, one of the great London novels, is plausible in detail and compelling in consequence.


The London imagination feeds on particulars, and however extravagant the London novel grows, however addicted to secrecy and conspiracy, it is always rooted in the known public facts: the confidential offices in John le Carré, or a group of churches in Peter Ackroyd, the arrangement of streets, rivers and open spaces in Iain Sinclair and the “psychogeographers” who followed him.
[I wasn't sure where to put this, but here seemed appropriate since it is a literary article. ]
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