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City Visions: The Work of Iain Sinclair
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City Visions: The Work of Iain Sinclair (Hardback)

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Synopsis

City Visions: The Work of Iain Sinclair collects fourteen pathbreaking essays treating the panoramic oeuvre of novelist, poet, filmmaker and essayist Iain Sinclair. This book aims to reflect and develop the current strong interest in the work of Sinclair, who is widely recognized as one of the most significant figures in contemporary British literature and culture. The essays herein cover the key genres and periods of Sinclair's output, discussing his poetry, prose and filmmaking, and are developed from the proceedings of the first academic conference on Sinclair, which was held at the University of Greenwich in 2004. Following the introductory chapter, which includes a brief survey of Sinclair's career up until now, the collection is arranged thematically in four sections. The first part, 'Contexts', features essays which comment on the critical categorization and definition of Sinclair's work. The second part, 'Culture and Critique', includes essays which explore the political import and contexts of Sinclair's oeuvre.

The articles in the third part, 'Connections', look at the links between Sinclair and other writers, addressing the often noted intertextuality of his writing; and the final section, 'Spaces', contains three considerations of Sinclair's treatment of London's urban spaces. This collection provides access to the latest research by the leading scholars working in this area, and will be a key point of reference for anyone interested in Sinclair's production. "To some, the field of 'London writing' may increasingly look like an indifferent, over-populated wasteland. Iain Sinclair, however, remains pre-eminent, by virtue, not only of the amplitude of his knowledge of the city, but of the intensity and complexity of his thought about it. He is the redemptive memorialist of a host of disregarded London cultures that lie quite beyond the reach of contemporary pieties. In that respect, he is less our Blake, as he sometimes seems to believe, than our Pepys or our Defoe. At the same time, he is an audacious experimenter with prose forms in the modernist tradition from Joyce to Burroughs and beyond.

Like the Sinclair phenomenon itself, this valuable collection of essays is multifaceted, illuminating its subject from a variety of different angles, whilst very well aware that it is part of a 'work in progress'. It offers important testimony to the scope and power of a writer engaged in an original, serious and necessary project." -Andrew Gibson, Research Professor of Modern Literature and Theory, Royal Holloway, University of London "This is an important and timely collection about arguably the most significant living London writer who is increasingly being recognised as an important contemporary English author in every sense." -Lawrence Phillips, Principal Lecturer in English, University of Northampton "At last, Iain Sinclair has the readers he deserves--at least on the ample, often provocative, and always fascinating evidence of City Visions, a collection of essays marked equally by panache and verve, awareness of alternative cultural history and theoretical sophistication.

Over fourteen chapters, critics with wide-ranging interests gather their restless energies and obsessions in response to the scatter-gun agitprop and guerilla-intellectualism of Sinclair, to produce a necessary and necessarily edgy volume. In this admirably relentless collection Jenny Bavidge and Robert Bond offer an unnerving and inventive critical topography that uncovers the dark heart of a writer who is simultaneously the enfant terrible and eminence grise of English letters. Belles-lettrists and other dilettantes be warned, this is not a volume for the faint-hearted-these essays manifest an evangelical zeal equal to their subject's own; in doing so, they take us on an exhilarating intellectual adventure, so refreshing in the world of lit-crit, where the polite formulas of sensible reading make one want to faint from ennui." -Professor Julian Wolfreys, Loughborough University

Jenny Bavidge is a Lecturer in the School of Humanities at the University of Greenwich. Robert Bond taught at Cambridge, London South Bank and Westminster universities. He is the author of the critical study Iain Sinclair (2005).

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