London of the Mind—The Narrative of Psychogeographic Antiquarianism in Selected London Novels of Peter Ackroyd

Petr Chalupsky


Peter Ackroyd is traditionally listed among the foremost contemporary representatives of British psychogeographic writing, along with Iain Sinclair, J. G. Ballard, Stewart Home and Will Self. However, his approach differs from those of his more outspoken fellow-psychogeographers both in scope and form, not so much in his non-fiction London: The Biography (2000), but then all the more noticeably in his novels. Using four of his London novels, Hawksmoor (1985), Dan Leno and the Limehouse Golem (1994), The Lambs of London (2004) and The Casebook of Victor Frankenstein (2008), this paper argues that Ackroyd’s treatment of the relationship between his protagonists’ psyches and the urban territory they inhabit or move along can be more appropriately labelled as psychogeographic antiquarianism, as it is based on storing up and reenacting the city’s accumulated experience and probing the various impacts on the minds of its dwellers.

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English Language and Literature Studies   ISSN 1925-4768 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4776 (Online)

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