A Fantastic Crucible Cover Image

Fantastyczny tygiel
A Fantastic Crucible

Genological and Cultural Syncretism in Ben Aaronovitch’s Cycle "Rivers of London"

Author(s): Sylwia Borowska-Szerszun
Subject(s): Language and Literature Studies, Comparative Study of Literature, Other Language Literature, Philology, Theory of Literature
Published by: Ośrodek Badawczy Facta Ficta
Keywords: urban fantasy;Ben Aaronovitch;London;syncretism;fantasy studies;genology;
Summary/Abstract: The chapter, by Sylwia Borowska-Szerszun, explores generic and cultural syncretism in Ben Aaronovitch’s cycle Rivers of London. Having defined urban fantasy, the author proceeds to place emphasis on the overwhelming heterogeneity adapted within the genre, which suggests its openness to various influences, transformations and modifications. In this particular case the elements of urban fantasy and the criminal novel have been successfully incorporated to create a harmonious whole. The cycle also relies on a hybrid ethnic identity of the protagonist and his dialogic relationship with a more experienced wizard, a representative of the former imperial order, to suggest that peaceful cooperation is possible despite differences in ethnic, social and class background. Examining the vision of a city as a melting pot, the author argues that the fantastic level of the text has been construed as just one more component of a multicultural London in which different cultures, nationalities and religions meet. The cycle breaks the predominance of whiteness in the fantasy genre, and introduces instead social and cultural diversity, which reveals the potential of urban fantasy to deal with difficult issues of our times and provide a valid commentary about contemporary reality.

  • Page Range: 189-208
  • Page Count: 20
  • Publication Year: 2017
  • Language: Polish