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Reading: Who Owns the City? China Miéville’s The City and The City as an Urban Gothic Dystopia

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Who Owns the City? China Miéville’s The City and The City as an Urban Gothic Dystopia

Author:

Ljubica Matek

University of Osijek, HR
About Ljubica
Ljubica Matek, PhD, is Assistant Professor of English and is currently serving as the Head of the Subdepartment for English Literature Studies at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Osijek, Croatia. She teaches courses in literature at undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate levels. She was a Fulbright Fellow at Study of the U.S. Institute (SUSI): Contemporary American Literature, University of Louisville, Kentucky in 2008. Her research interests are broad and include fantastic and Gothic literature, adaptation studies (literature and film), Shakespeare, and contemporary Anglophone literature. She is a member of Croatian Association for the Studies of English, European Society for the Study of English (ESSE), Croatian Association for American Studies and Croatian Philological Society.
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Abstract

The paper considers China Miéville’s novel The City and The City from the point of view of geography of space suggesting that the capital is the dominating force that shapes urban reality. The novel builds on the traditional Victorian Gothic ideas of the city as a place of dual existence and exploits the topoi of the noir, but instead of focusing on the individual and the issues of psychological doubling and existential plights of a detective, it is more concerned with the modes of production and the way that capitalism continuously re-invents itself by its use of space without making itself known. The plot elements and aesthetics of film noir add to the mystery of murder, of the twin cities’ identity, and highlight the false consciousness of the masses which enables the ideology’s effectiveness.
How to Cite: Matek, L., 2020. Who Owns the City? China Miéville’s The City and The City as an Urban Gothic Dystopia. Studies in Gothic Fiction, 6(2), pp.16–26. DOI: http://doi.org/10.18573/sgf.9
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Published on 16 Jun 2020.
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