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By Kim Duff (auth.)

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Extra resources for Contemporary British Literature and Urban Space: After Thatcher

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As markers of the city’s fabric, as well as visible reference points and aids to navigation through the labyrinthine city text’ (‘On an Eastern Arc’). Newland suggests that ‘Sinclair speculates that Christ Church has not only witnessed 32 Contemporary British Literature and Urban Space horrific and uncanny events but has also, somehow, absorbed them or reproduced them’ (‘Eastern Arc’). They are spatially scaled and rescaled as Sinclair documents such ‘horrific’ and ‘uncanny’ events as always existing.

Sinclair imagines, in this way, that ‘the City resisted The Spaces of English Heritage 37 us’ (107). That resistance, where ‘there was no centre,’ implicates all of ‘us’ as intimately part of the urban narrative. As Newland argues, it is this ‘real’ city that Sinclair uncovers that acts in ‘imaginative opposition’ to the sterile Thatcherite City (‘Eastern Arc’). It is here, too, that Sinclair notes that the social is always spatialized in order to be documented and understood. Ephemeral transcriptions of the urban Sinclair challenges English Heritage’s appropriation and selection of certain landscapes and sites as a means of reproducing a desired, and profitable, type of English identity that excludes the vast majority of people.

At times, Sinclair refers to such fragmentation as insane or schizophrenic, what Lefebvre might call ‘the schizophrenia of society,’ imbuing the city with an overwhelming identity crisis (Urban Revolution 157). The narrative line is momentarily visible when Sinclair discards his map (and his plan to walk in a ‘V’ across London) in favour of a fragmented, and arguably organic, transgressive mapping of the city-surface through his psychogeographic process. ’ Sinclair’s city is a sign-system of accretions, a palimpsest.

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