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Automobility in Manchester Fiction

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date2012
JournalMobilities
Journal number1
Volume7
Number of pages21
Pages93-113
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

This article contributes to recent debates concerning automobility and ‘mobile, embodied practices’ (Cresswell & Merriman, 2011) by considering how various ‘driving events’ entail modes of perception that are of interest from an ontological perspective; that is, how drivers and passengers see the world through the windows of a moving car and how the driving ‘sensorium’ (Gilroy, 2001; Sheller, 2004) may be associated with emotional states (such as ‘escape’, ‘frustration’, ‘nostalgia’) that arguably characterize the everyday life of late modernity. In addition, the discussion speculates on what this altered perception means for how we see and conceptualize the contemporary urban landscape, concurring with Doel (1996) that such space has effectively become a ‘scrumpled geography’ that can no longer be accounted for in traditional cartographical terms. These reflections are explored through close readings of a selection of literary texts (principally, crime fiction novels) emanating from Greater Manchester (England) and thus the article also contributes to recent work (both cultural and sociological) on the re-imagining of this particular urban landscape in recent times (Haslam, 2000; Pearce et al., forthcoming).

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