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By Accident or Design

Writing the Victorian Metropolis

Paul Fyfe

By Accident or Design

By Accident or Design

Writing the Victorian Metropolis

By Accident or Design

 

By Accident or Design explains how and why the Victorians were fascinated by accidents, including omnibus collisions, fires, and railway crashes, and how these accidents offered a way to describe how large, complex things like cities might grow and change.


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Beschrijving By Accident or Design

'On the banks of the Thames it is a tremendous chapter of accidents'. As Henry James surveys London in 1888, he sums up what had fascinated urban observers for a century: the random and even accidental development of this unprecedented form of human settlement, the modern metropolis. By Accident or Design: Writing the Victorian Metropolis takes James at his word, arguing that accident was both a powerful metaphor and material context through which the
Victorians arrested the paradoxes of metropolitan modernity and reconfigured understandings of form and change. Paul Fyfe shows how the material conditions of urban accidents offer new and compelling modes of analysis for intellectual and literary history. Through extensive archival study and interdisciplinary
analysis of urban-industrial accidents, risk management, and civic improvements, By Accident or Design reclaims the metropolis as ground zero for some of the most important thinking about causation in the nineteenth century. It demonstrates the centrality of interdependent concepts of design and accident not only to metropolitan discourse, but also to current critical discourse about the formal and circulatory dynamics of Victorian metropolitan writing. Thus, this book offers a new
vocabulary for the dialectics of the modern city and the signature forms of writing about it, including the newspaper, the illustrated periodical, the industrial novel, and urban broadsheets.


ISBN
9780198732334
Pagina's
258
Verschenen
NUR
320
Druk
1
Uitvoering
Hardback
Taal
Engels
Uitgever
OUP Oxford

Literaire non-fictie




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