By Petr Chalupský

Peter Ackroyd’s writing is enthusiastic about the defining heterogeneity of London—its wealthy variety of human event, temper, and emotion, of activities and occasions, and of the instruments during which all of this heterogeneity is represented and reenacted. yet for Ackroyd, one of many most desirable of the so-called “London writers,” this energizing heterogeneity additionally has a sinister facet, mostly originating outdoors social norms and mainstream pathways of cultural construction. bearing on every little thing from occult practices to the plotting of radical teams, crime and fraud, doubtful clinical experiments, and renowned, dramatic kinds of ritual and leisure, Ackroyd contends that those forces either contest prescribed cultural modes and provide the town with its attribute dynamism and skill for religious renewal.

This idiosyncratic London build is especially admired in Ackroyd’s novels, within which his rules concerning the city’s nature and his connection to English literary sensibilities mix to create a special chronotope with its personal spatial and temporal homes. A Horror and a Beauty explores this global via six defining facets of town as Ackroyd identifies them: the connection among London’s previous and current, its uncanny manifestations, its felonious traits, its population’ psychogeographic and antiquarian innovations, its theatricality, and its inherently literary character.

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A Horror and a Beauty: The World of Peter Ackroyd's London Novels by Petr Chalupský


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