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In the beginning was the (Written) word - Peter Ackroyd's 'Hawksmoor' as a myth of creation
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Languages, Department of English.
2008 (English)In: Orbis Litterarum, ISSN 0105-7510, E-ISSN 1600-0730, Vol. 63, no 1, 22-45 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A pivotal text within Peter Ackroyd's oeuvre, Hawksmoor is most fruitfully read as a kind of mythography where a special version of deconstructive play dominates all levels of the fiction, from single words through characters and action to the level of meta-reflection itself. In fact, the novel's design can be said to reflect the philosophy of space of the eighteenth-century architect Nicholas Dyer: his seven churches are embodiments of differance, subtly infusing alterior knowledge into urban reality. Similarly, Hawksmoor's ''vision-house of language,'' its post-structuralist myth, advocates the post-1968 Derridean/Deleuzean enterprise of reterritorialization - of reconnecting the uprooted postmodern subject to estranged territory. At the base of this myth, mobilizing it as its non-originary source, as the exemplary figure of the trace, is the child, the spatial thinker in the novel; by folding language into the city of London, the Derridean child imagines the permeable bounds between building/dwelling/thinking, encouraging individuals to transgress them and, in Ackroyd's words, to re-situate themselves in ''the riddle of London, which is perpetually new and always old.''

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 63, no 1, 22-45 p.
Keyword [en]
differance, mythography, reterritorialization, spatial thinking, trace, vision-house of language
National Category
Humanities
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-141653ISI: 000252434300002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-141653DiVA: diva2:386000
Available from: 2011-01-12 Created: 2011-01-12 Last updated: 2017-12-11Bibliographically approved

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