Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Ian Sinclair and London
Author: Bond, R.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2002
Availability of Full Text:
Full text unavailable from EThOS.
Please contact the current institution’s library for further details.
This thesis represents the first comprehensive study of Iain Sinclair's writing. The introductory chapter provides an account of Sinclair's relation to the 'Cambridge school' of neo-modernist poetry, and reconstructs the twentieth century poetic genealogies upon which Sinclair's writing has drawn. The following three chapters consist of close readings of Sinclair's major London texts: Lud Heat, White Chappell: Scarlet Tracings and Downriver. These analyses aim to extend the critique of urban experience formulated by Frankfurt School Marxism. The readings are oriented by a constellation of concepts introduced in the second part of the opening chapter, which begins with an assessment of Adorno's and Bourdieu's diverging evaluations of the artwork's fetish-character, or of its illusory claim to be non-exchangeable. Sinclair's presentation of the detachment of artists from mainstream exchange relations remains a preoccupation of the thesis, as does his concern with artists' disinterest. The opening chapter also introduces the concept of compulsion, discussing Sinclair's treatment of compulsive artistic production. The reading of Downriver shows that Sinclair opposes the artist's compulsion to be derangedly compelled, to the capitalist compulsion to engage in self-interested production of marketable art. An early application of Lukács's concept of second nature helps us to explore further Sinclair's interest in the seeming fatedness of contemporary experience. Adorno saw the artist's domination of material to contest the apparent inevitability of the domination of nature. The Lud Heat chapter argues that the way in which Sinclair's text draws our attention to the dominative rationality of religious ways of interpreting the environment, such as the strategy of sacralizing place by uncovering buried spatial webs, even as it foregrounds the irrationality of those methods, enables us to begin to imagine freedom from domination. The thesis devotes a considerable amount of attention to Sinclair's uniquely intimate account of contemporary art-making. Yet, in exploring Sinclair's broader vision of the city, it also allows for extended comparisons with the London writing of Peter Ackroyd, Blake, Conan Doyle and Dickens.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available