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Mapping British Women Writers' Urban ImaginariesSpace, Self and SpiritualityArina CirsteaIt contains the chapter: . Women's Urban Modernity: Brontë, Gaskell and Woolf.
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Publication Date October 2015
Mapping British Women Writers' Urban Imaginaries offers an important new approach to women's writing and the city. The study provides an alternative to the postmodern tradition of writing about the city by interpreting the spatialized construction of identity in women's urban writing through an integrative framework based on insights from Bachelard's topoanalysis, Jungian psychoanalysis, psychogeography, feminist cultural theory and recent developments in comparative literature and religion. This interpretative framework highlights how women writers' representations of London explode the Enlightenment rationalisation of space, while at the same time challenging the revision of the Enlightenment performed by postmodern scholars. A secondary but related concern regards the potential of city space to become a source of transcendent experiences for city dwellers and generate a sense of belonging to a spiritual community. By exploring texts which have resisted universalizing configurations of urban experience, being consistently informed by an individualised engagement with gender, community and spirituality, this study contributes to a much-needed integrated map of the modern British urban imaginary.