Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

Prague Journal of English Studies

The Journal of Charles University, Faculty of Education

1 Issue per year

Open Access
Online
ISSN
2336-2685
See all formats and pricing
More options …

“This fabulous flotsam”: Michael Moorcock’s Urban Anthropology in “London under London”

Christoph Houswitschka
Published Online: 2015-08-04 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/pjes-2015-0004

Abstract

Michael Moorcock is often described as “one of the most prolific and varied writers working in Britain” (Malcolm 146). His success as a writer and editor of science fiction and fantasy literature is well established, but he is also the author of two novels about London, Mother London (1988) and King of the City (2000). Hardly known, Mother London by Michael Moorcock, offers itself to a variety of approaches that have been widely discussed in the context of studies on English literature during the Thatcher years, post-modernism, and psycho-geography. The novel resonates with the author’s own childhood in war-time London without being autobiographical. It tells the story of three Londoners who were traumatised during the Blitz. The following article focuses on the mysteries of subterranean London that represents the hidden and unconscious identities of its inhabitants in the post-war period.

Keywords: Subterranean London; underground; nostalgia; Blitz; trauma; war generation; Michael Moorcock; Peter Ackroyd; Iain Sinclair

References

  • Aaronovitch, Ben. Whispers Underground. London: Gollancz, 2012. Print.Google Scholar

  • Ackroyd, Peter. London: A Biography. London: Chatto and Windus, 2000. Print.Google Scholar

  • Appiah, Kwame Anthony. The Ethics of Identity. Princeton: Princeton UP, 2005. Print.Google Scholar

  • Ashford, David. London Underground: A Cultural Geography. Liverpool: Liverpool UP, 2013. Print.Google Scholar

  • Baker, Brian. “Maps of the London Underground: Iain Sinclair and Michael Moorcock’s Psychogeography of the city.” literarylondon.org. literarylondon. org, n.p. Web. 31 March 2015.Google Scholar

  • Bonnett, Alastair. “The Dilemmas of Radical Nostalgia in British Psychogeography.” Theory Culture Society. 26 (2009), 45-70. Print. Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • ---. Left in the Past Radicalism and the Politics of Nostalgia. London and New York: Continuum, 2011. Print.Google Scholar

  • Bulwer-Lytton, Edward. Vril, the Power of the Coming Race (1871). Whitefish, MT: Kessinger Publishing, 1997. Print.Google Scholar

  • Chalupsky, Petr. “London of the Mind: The Narrative of Psychogeographic Antiquarianism in Selected London Novels of Peter Ackroyd.” English Language and Literature Studies. Vol. 4,1. Toronto: Canadian Center of Science and Education, 2014, 10-21. Print. Google Scholar

  • ---. “Mystic London: The Occult and the Esoteric in Peter Ackroyd’s Work.” The AnaChronisT. Vol. 16. Budapest: Eőtvős Lorand University, 2011, 171-184. Print.Google Scholar

  • Crosthwaite, Paul. “‘Children of the Blitz’: Air War and the Time of Postmodernism in Michael Moorcock’s Mother London.” Bombs Away! Ed. Wilfried Wilms and William Rasch. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2006, 233-247. Print.Google Scholar

  • Ganteau, Jean-Michel. “Trauma as the Negation of Autonomy: Michael Moorcock’s Mother London.” Ethics and Trauma in Contemporary British Fiction. Ed. Susana Onega and Jean-Michel Ganteau. Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi, 2001, 107-126. Print.Google Scholar

  • Groes, Sebastian. The Making of London. London in Contemporary Literature.London: Palgrave, 2011. Print.Google Scholar

  • Luckhurst, Roger. “The Contemporary London Gothic and the Limits of the ‘Spectral Turn’.” Textual Practice 16(3), 2002, 527-46. Print.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Malcolm, David. The British and Irish Short Story Handbook. Hoboken, NJ.: Wiley, 2012. Print.Google Scholar

  • Moorcock, Michael. Mother London. 1988. London: Scribner’s, 2000. Print.Google Scholar

  • Pike, David L. “Modernist Space and the Transformation of Underground London.” Imagined Londons. Ed. Pamela Gilbert. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2002, 101-120. Print.Google Scholar

  • Pile, Steve. “‘The Problem of London’, or, How to Explore the Moods of the City.” The Hieroglyphics of Space: Reading and Experiencing the Modern Metropolis. Ed. Neil Leach. London: Routledge, 2002, 203-216. Print. Google Scholar

  • ---. Real Cities: Modernity, Space and the Phantasmagorias of City Life. London: Sage, 2005. Print.Google Scholar

  • Piper, David L. The Companion Guide to London. 1964. Rev. by Fionnuala Jervis.Woodbridge: Companion Guides, 2000. Print.Google Scholar

  • Taylor, Charles. Multiculturalism. Examining the Politics of Recognition. Ed. and introduced by Amy Gutman. Princeton. N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1994. Print. Google Scholar

About the article

Published Online: 2015-08-04

Published in Print: 2015-07-01


Citation Information: Prague Journal of English Studies, Volume 4, Issue 1, Pages 61–75, ISSN (Online) 2336-2685, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/pjes-2015-0004.

Export Citation

© Faculty of Education, Charles University. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. BY-NC-ND 3.0

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in