The City Novel After the City: Planetary Metropolis, World Literature

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2019

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Abstract

Literary scholars have long identified a formal correspondence between city and novel. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the city became embedded in the narrative forms of fiction as the latter attempted to map the coordinates of the rapidly expanding and increasingly complex social formations the former produced. In our moment, the older idea of the “city” as a discrete, identifiable form of human settlement is almost universally theorized as having been displaced by what is variously called “the metropolis”, “city everywhere”, or “planetary urbanization”. Without any outside to its parameters, how can the idea of the city still have meaning? This dissertation explores how the contemporary city novel can illuminate the bewildering new spaces in which we live and the seemingly inevitable "becoming-planetary" of the urban.

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Soule, Jacob Guion Wade (2019). The City Novel After the City: Planetary Metropolis, World Literature. Dissertation, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/20119.

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