Cities of Affluence and Anger

Re-reading Cities of Affluence and Anger. A Literary Geography of Modern Englishness (2006), by Peter J. Kalliney. Not only very convincing readings of a number of still highly relevant novels, but also convincing links between literary expressions of the city, and prevalent discourse in urban planning and development.

cities of affluence

Source: University of Virginia Press

The 4th chapter, on the Angry Young Men, for example, ‘’reads the Angry reliance on domesticity in the context of England’s postwar reconstruction and alongside contemporary accounts of home” and draws on “vernacular architecture of the period and the welfare state’s urban planning initiatives to sketch the parameters of class and masculinity in literary accounts of family life.” (Kalliney 116)

Kalliney presents here an eloquent illustration of what literary studies can bring to our understanding of city development (and vice verse).

Reconstruction & Spatial Literary Studies

The journal Reconstruction has a special issue out on Spatial Literary Studies, edited by Robert T. Tally. All in all an excellent open-access issue, with plenty of food for thought for scholars involved with spatial literary studies.


source: Reconstructions; photo by Carolina Cambre.

For urban literary scholars: the issue inlcudes, amongst others, an article on Zola’s spatial explorations of Paris and on Country/City dynamic in Kundera.

Walking Woolf’s London

New book out on Virginia Woolf’s London, with ample use of maps: Lisbeth Larsson’s Promenader i Virginia Woolfs London.



The book is in Swedish, but maps such as the ones here and here, give some idea of the scope of the analysis even to readers with a limited command of Swedish.

Lisbeth Larsson was at the City Peripheries/Peripheral Cities conference in Helsinki last year, where she presented some of her findings on Woolf’s work, creative use of cartographies to provide new insights into literature!