While suburbs provide a rich field of research for sociologists, architects, urbanists and anthropologists, they have not been given much attention in literary and cultural studies. The Suburbs: New Literary Perspectives sets out to enrich the limited existing body of critical analysis on the subject with a landmark collection of essays offering a far larger perspective than the books or collections published so far on the topic. This interdisciplinary and wide-ranging approach includes literary and art studies, philosophy, and cultural comment. It examines the suburbs across cultural differences, contrasting British, South African and North American suburbs. The specificity of this book therefore lies in a cross-national and cross-continental exploration of these unchartered territories. The suburbs are redefined as those rebellious margins whose geographical borders are necessarily fuzzy and sketch out a common place where cultural frontiers can be transcended. They are, to use Sarah Nuttall’s terminology, places of “entanglement” where contraries meet and where new ways of being in the world is reborn. Seen through the prism of art and literature, the suburbs may then be recognized, as philosopher Bruce Bégout argues, as a “new way of thinking and making urban space.”
Marie Bouchet is associate professor of American literature and art at the University of Toulouse.
Nathalie Cochoy is professor of American literature at the University of Toulouse.
Isabelle Keller-Privat is professor of English literature and poetry at the University Toulouse.
Mathilde Rogez is associate professor of South and Southern African literature and post-colonial studies at the University of Toulouse.
Chapter 1“Introduction”, M. Bouchet, N. Cochoy, I. Keller-Privat, M. Rogez
PART I Challenging the visible
Chapter 2“‘Who wrote the bit about the buffalo?’: Edgelands and the Question of Joint Authorship”, Paul Farley & Michael Symmons Roberts (with an introduction by Isabelle Keller-Privat)
Chapter 3“The Poetics of the Suburbs in Ian Sinclair’s London Orbital”, Jean-Michel Ganteau
Chapter 4“(Sub)urban Space and the Contemporary American Novel”, Heinz Ickstadt
Chapter 5“Suburbia According to John Cheever: from Distinction to Indistinction”, Véronique Béghain
Chapter 6“‘The fingerprinting of phantoms’: A Poetics of the Commonplace in Jeffrey Eugenides’s The Virgin Suicides (1993)”, Jérémy Potier
PART II Nowhere land?
Chapter 7“‘Those who prefer the Human Tragedy to the Human Comedy’: Humour in London Suburban Fiction”, Ged Pope
Chapter 8“Suburbia, or Para-urbia: On Some Contemporary British Writers’ Representations of Suburban Spaces”, Nicolas Pierre Boileau
Chapter 9“Intermediate Spaces in Amy Hempel’s Short Stories”, Claire Fabre-Clark
Chapter 10“’She had only to drift tonight’–Drifting as Dissent in Thomas Pynchon’s The Crying of Lot 49”, Bastien Méresse
PART III Gardens of Earthly Delights
Chapter 11“Chicago 1900. Between Urban Hell and Paradise Lost: Suburbia vs. City?”, Olivier Gaudin
Chapter 12 “Who am I to Where is here? Identity and the Liminal Suburb in Canadian Poetry”, James Gifford
Chapter 13“Subversive Suburbs in Dickens’s Fiction: Both Ironic Arcadian Archives and Threatening Mobile Spaces of Relegation”, Nathalie Jaëck
PART IV From Exclusion to Resistance
Chapter 14“From Villa Toscana to Main Reef Road: Two Versions of South African Suburbia”, Interview of Ivan Vladislavic, author of Portrait with Keys, by Mathilde Rogez
Chapter 15“South African Suburbs in Fiction: Deciphering the Hidden Agenda of Global City-Making and Urban Governance”, Richard Samin
Chapter 16“Paying the Mortgage in Contemporary Suburban Fiction: From Revolutionary Road to Hoving Road”, Stacey Olster
Chapter 17“‘No poet has come’: Paterson, or the Poem in Prosaic Zone”, Aurore Clavier