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From the myths and legends that fashioned the identities of ancient city-states to the diversity of literary performance in contemporary cities around the world, literature and the city are inseparably entwined. The international team of scholars in this volume offers a comprehensive, accessible survey of the literary city, exploring the myriad cities that authors create and the genres in which cities appear. Early chapters consider the literary legacies of historical and symbolic cities from antiquity to the early modern period. Subsequent chapters consider the importance of literature to the rise of the urban public sphere; the affective experience of city life; the interplay of the urban landscape and memory; the form of the literary city and its responsiveness to social, cultural and technological change; dystopian, nocturnal, pastoral and sublime cities; cities shaped by colonialism and postcolonialism; and the cities of economic, sexual, cultural and linguistic outsiders.
Los Angeles has a tantalizing hold on the American imagination. Its self-magnifying myths encompass Hollywood glamour, Arcadian landscapes, and endless summer, but also the apocalyptic undertow of riots, environmental depredation, and natural disaster. This Companion traces the evolution of Los Angeles as the most public staging of the American Dream - and American nightmares. The expert contributors make exciting, innovative connections among the authors and texts inspired by the city, covering the early Spanish settlers, African American writers, the British and German expatriates of the 1930s and 1940s, Latino, and Asian LA literature. The genres discussed include crime novels, science fiction, Hollywood novels, literary responses to urban rebellion, the poetry scene, nature writing, and the most influential non-fiction accounts of the region. Diverse, vibrant, and challenging as the city itself, this Companion is the definitive guide to LA in literature.
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