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Nyctopolis, the City of Darkness

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings - With ISBN/ISSNChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Publication date9/11/2022
Host publication"Invisible Cities" and the Urban Imagination
EditorsBenjamin Linder
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages12
ISBN (electronic)9783031130489
ISBN (print)9783031130472
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Publication series

NameLiterary Urban Studies
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
ISSN (Print)2523-7888
ISSN (electronic)2523-7896


Day is the rehearsal. Night is the performance. As the sun sets, the city of Nyctopolis exhales. Its air thickens, its temperature lowers and the dance between dark and light changes its body language. Now those previous tiny glimmers, indistinguishable in the day become resplendent as night walks us through time itself. The cobbles of the street, lost amid the sea of asphalt slowly burnish under the glow of a streetlamp. Around a corner, behind a wall, pressed within the façades of buildings, the city of darkness sits, biding its cosmic time. Waiting. Wanting. To be released from the confines of the daytime. This chapter explores the complex relations between text, spatiality, cities, and imagination. Specifically, it examines the city of darkness as way to investigate the entanglements between memory, desire, and the hidden. Providing both a critical and conceptual engagement with Invisible Cities, it presents a creative non-fiction account of the city of Manchester, UK, at night as a lens through which to investigate the qualities of the nocturnal city in a wider sense. By doing so, it offers reflection and speculation on the once and future city, and the shifting boundaries between the real and the imaginary.