Urban Confrontations in Literature and Social Science, 1848-2001

Urban Confrontations in Literature and Social Science, 1848-2001

Edward J. Ahearn


In an cutting edge contribution to the demanding of disciplinary limitations, Edward J. Ahearn juxtaposes works of literature with the writings of social scientists to find how jointly they remove darkness from urban existence in ways in which neither can accomplish individually. Ahearn's argument spans from the second one half the 19th century in Western Europe to the present-day usa and features a wide selection of literary genres and sociological faculties. for instance, Charles Baudelaire's essays at the urban are considered along the paintings of Emile Durkheim and Georg Simmel; Bertolt Brecht's "Jungle of Cities" heightens the arguments of Louis Wirth and Robert Park; Richard Wright's "Native Son" and Saul Bellow's "The Adventures of Augie March" are re-visioned in tandem with works via William Julius Wilson and others; Herman Melville's "Bartleby the Scrivener" poses a problem to James Q. Wilson's "Bureaucracy"; Toni Morrison's old novel "Jazz" is buttressed by way of the profession of Robert Moses and the revisionist paintings of historians Hilary Ballon and Kenneth T. Jackson; and Don DeLillos' "Cosmopolis" comes into extraordinary concentration within the mild of arguments on international cybercities through David Harvey, Saskia Sassen, and Manuel Cassels. Resisting the temptation to disregard contradictions for the sake of interpretation, Ahearn as a substitute deals the reader a view of the fashionable urban as advanced as his topic matter.

Here the methodologies and data generated by way of the social sciences are either complemented and subverted by way of the event of urban existence as portrayed in literature. With its various narrative strategies and moving issues of view, which are as disorienting to the reader as a international urban is to an arriving immigrant, literature reinforces the significance of process and outlook within the social sciences. eventually, Ahearn indicates, neither literature nor the social sciences can seize the event of city distress.

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