Cities in Fiction: Perambulations with John Berger

Culture & Organization, Vol. 16, No. 3, pp. 197-210, 2010

22 Pages Posted: 2 Dec 2008 Last revised: 26 Jul 2011

Date Written: December 2, 2008

Abstract

This paper explores three John Berger novels in which cities play a central role. Lilac and Flag: An Old Wives' Tale of the City (1990) is set in the harsh urban reality of Troy, an imaginary Uber-Metropolis. King: A Street Story (1999) unfolds in a similar unforgiving urban setting. Here is Where We Meet (2005) offers an amalgam of novel, essay and autobiography in which a character called John Berger meets his beloved dead in various European cities. In wreaking 'tender devastation' in these books, Berger makes the real, the possible, and the impossible co-exist, thus bringing out the spectral dimension of given realities. My reading of the novels allows me rethink important themes in discussions on the nature of contemporary capitalism, in particular those of resistance and universality.

Keywords: novel, berger, capitalism, resistance

JEL Classification: Z10

Suggested Citation

De Cock, Christian, Cities in Fiction: Perambulations with John Berger (December 2, 2008). Culture & Organization, Vol. 16, No. 3, pp. 197-210, 2010, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1310287

Christian De Cock (Contact Author)

University of Essex ( email )

Wivenhoe Park
Colchester, CO4 3SQ
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.essex.ac.uk/ebs/staff/profile.aspx?ID=1864

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