Date of Award

1-1-2010

Document Type

Campus Access Thesis

Department

English Language and Literatures

Sub-Department

English

First Advisor

Debra Rae Cohen

Abstract

In my thesis, I argue that there has been a trend in post-World War II British literature that posits London as a Gothic space. This trend occurred as a direct result of London's role in World War II, and the city's resulting damage. The ruins of houses, churches and other buildings established London as literal Gothic space; in order for post-war writers to accurately represent London, they had to do so by incorporating elements from Gothic novels, including the uncanny, the outsider and psychogeography. During London's war years, Elizabeth Bowen, Graham Greene and Rose Macaulay sought to make sense of what was occurring through their writing: in their works, these authors incorporate their response to the ruined city, fear and death that became a part of life during the Blitz. As discussed in chapter two, in the 1960s, Maureen Duffy examined the relationship between the post-war London and the Gothic uncanny, using Freud's theory as a way to link 1960s London with its palimpsestic history. More recently, authors such as Michael Moorcock, Iain Sinclair, Peter Ackroyd, Patrick McGrath and Geoff Nicholson draw on Guy Debord's theory of psychogeography; each author utilizes and manipulates Debord's original idea in order to represent a contemporary London where the city directly affects the emotions and energies of one walking through it.

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