Subversive Potential of the Repressed Cover Image

Subwersywny potencjał wypartego
Subversive Potential of the Repressed

Municipal Excluded in Neil Gaiman’s "Neverwhere", China Miéville’s "Un Lun Dun", and Megan Lindholm’s "Wizard of the Pigeons"

Author(s): Aleksandra Łozińska
Subject(s): Language and Literature Studies, Comparative Study of Literature, Philology, Theory of Literature
Published by: Ośrodek Badawczy Facta Ficta
Keywords: fantasy;new weird;postmodern fantasy;postmodern fiction;subversion;Neil Gaiman;China Miéville;Megan Lindholm
Summary/Abstract: In the chapter, Aleksandra Łozińska analyses the ways in which the authors of these novels refer to the issues of contemporary cities and the marginalization that occurs within them. The fantastic worlds created in these works are marked by much different constructs. These constructs include binary divisions of cities into official parts that converge with commercial images of the cities and areas hidden from the perspective of the former. These areas are built of redundant matter, inhabited by people marginalized in their own society and governed by practices that deviate from the confines of the official city narratives. This chapter expounds on the ways that these constructs allow for the re-evaluation of marginalized groups and elements (places, objects, fragments of history). Furthermore, methods of opposing exclusionary practices are included by penning subversive practices for the use of urban areas; and—in the case of Gaiman’s and Miéville’s works—by addressing the subject of economic stratification among the inhabitants of London (where metropolitan prosperity is dependent on citizens on the fringes of the social hierarchy). All three novels include characters whose lives are set outside of the mundane culture of consumerism (the life-source of all cities. Their social status becomes an exclusionary barrier to the circle of consumers around them. Thus the author approaches these threads as a type of project in flânerie (in contrast to the common understanding of his contemporaries) while maintaining its relevant critical potential. Against all odds and hardships, the situation of the protagonists is transformed into a positive, beneficial experience by bestowing upon them certain privileges, access to places and the ability to commit practices that are unattainable to the people living within the official sphere of the metropolis / social order. This aligns with the Bell-Hook margin theory therefore it will serve as the looking glass for the analysis of this subject matter.

  • Page Range: 403-421
  • Page Count: 19
  • Publication Year: 2017
  • Language: Polish