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‘No Longer Young and Not Yet Old’ London: Spatio-Temporal Ambivalence in Hanif Kureishi’s Something to Tell You

Toth, Hayley G. (2017) ‘No Longer Young and Not Yet Old’ London: Spatio-Temporal Ambivalence in Hanif Kureishi’s Something to Tell You. Identity papers: A journal of British and Irish studies, 2 (1). ISSN 2058-6205

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This article examines the peculiar spatio-temporal ambivalence of Hanif Kureishi’s 2008 novel, Something to Tell You. Building on Doreen Massey’s (2005) understanding of space and place, I put forth a new framework of spatial production and experience, comprising the cartographical and the phenomenological. Through these terms, I argue that we can engage with both the particularity and the plurality of the novel’s representation of London. Geographic Information System (GIS) software is employed both to make explicit the novel’s relationship to cartography, and to cartographic London, but, equally, to conceptualise Something to Tell You’s reconstellation of the city. By way of conclusion, I suggest that Something to Tell You bears a political and poetic ambivalence that is symptomatic of a wider hesitancy toward representing the capital (as representation relates to stultification). And whilst this unsettledness and non-surety as to the ‘where’ and the ‘when’ of London experience is, for protagonist, Jamal, a cause of great anxiety, is it nonetheless true to the ‘reality’, in Wolfreys’ (1999) sense of the term, of living, of doing, and of being in London.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Hanif Kureishi, London, Doreen Massey, Cartography, Social Geography, Contemporary Literature, Something to Tell You, British Asian Fiction
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General)
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Schools: School of Music, Humanities and Media
Depositing User: Megan Taylor
Date Deposited: 09 Aug 2017 09:37
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2018 09:00


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