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The Urban Chronotope in Peter Ackroyd’s Fiction

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Marta Komsta

The book discusses the evolution of the urban chronotope in the selected novels by Peter Ackroyd, an acclaimed British author. The examined narratives illustrate the transformation from the postmodern tenets of historiographic metafiction into a unique urban mythopoetics by means of a semiotic analysis.
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The book discusses the evolution of the urban chronotope in the selected novels by Peter Ackroyd, an acclaimed British author. The examined narratives illustrate the transformation from the postmodern tenets of historiographic metafiction into a unique urban mythopoetics by means of a semiotic analysis.

In her book, Marta Komsta meticulously analyzes the evolution of the urban chronotope in ten of Ackroyd’s novels written over more than thirty years. In doing so, it takes an unusually nuanced position in the ongoing debate about postmodernism’s relation to history, demonstrating how Ackroyd’s flagrantly metafictional and performative works are at the same time deeply, complexly and sincerely historiographical.John M. KrafftMiami University, Ohio

This is an authoritative but accessible study of London as the place at the heart of Ackroyd’s fiction. Deftly combining semiotic models of space with theories of theatricality, performativity, carnival and grotesque body in her insightful readings of his major novels, Komsta traces the evolution of Ackroyd’s representation of the city from self-reflexive textualisation towards mythopoeic affirmation of its metaphysical dimension. She thus cogently demonstrates that the palimpsestic urban chronotope constitutes the site of convergence for all the key elements of Ackroyd’s exploration of multiple relations between the city, history and identity.Grzegorz MaziarczykThe John Paul IICatholic University of Lublin

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