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Never mind the city guides: The topos of a city in urban fantasy (with interpretative emphasis on Neil Gaiman’s novel Neverwhere)



The paper focuses on the phenomenon of urban fantasy with a particular interest in the topos of a city, which assumes great significance as a thematic and motivic element in the subgenre. The authors touch upon the relation between (sub)genre and topos/topoi in general, but also more specifically, between urban fantasy and the city, regarding the urban area as a distinct setting with a specific atmosphere, character or genius loci. Within this frame, the paper seeks to exemplify the aforementioned relations through an interpretative study of Neil Gaiman’s novel Neverwhere, which breathes life into the London underground scene. London Below comes to personify, literally, the vices of London Above via the use of anthropomorphic strategies. Moreover, the spatial peculiarities of the novel not only contribute to the creation of the fantastical atmosphere but they also function as a vehicle of social critique and a constitutive element of the protagonist’s transformation.

Frequenza di pubblicazione:
2 volte all'anno
Argomenti della rivista:
Cultural Studies, General Cultural Studies, Literary Studies, general, Literary Theory, Topics in Literary Studies, Other Topics