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Modernism, Space and the CityOutsiders and Affect in Paris, Vienna, Berlin, and London$
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Andrew Thacker

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780748633470

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748633470.001.0001

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(p.168) 4 London
Modernism, Space and the City

Andrew Thacker

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter considers how London developed as a modernist city, from the late nineteenth century to the period after World War Two. It analyses the geographical emotions produced by particular locations within London, such as the London Underground and Metro-Land suburbs; the cultural institutions of Bloomsbury and Fleet Street; the bohemia of Soho and the nightlife of Piccadilly Circus; and the Notting Hill area settled by postwar immigrants to the city. It considers the affective responses of writers such as Virginia Woolf and Henry James to the material restructuring of the city, before turning to the role of publishers, bookshops, and literary networks in helping establish modernism in the city, in the shape of poetic movements such as the Rhymers and the Imagists. The final part of the chapter analyses texts by two important outsiders in London: Joseph Conrad in The Secret Agent and Sam Selvon in The Lonely Londoners.

Keywords:   London Underground, Metro-Land, Piccadilly Circus, Notting Hill, Soho, Rhymers, Imagism, Joseph Conrad, Sam Selvon, Cultural institutions

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