Article

The Visible and Invisible City: Antebellum Writers and Urban Space

Jeffrey Steele

in The Oxford Handbook of Nineteenth-Century American Literature

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199730438
Published online November 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199730438.013.0011

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 The Visible and Invisible City: Antebellum Writers and Urban Space

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This article examines the works of antebellum writers about city and urban space. It investigates how American writers accessed social and political phenomena which elude visual perception, and suggests that Lydia Maria Child, George Lippard, Fanny Fern, and other authors who toured, investigated, and ambled around city spaces confronted this challenge posed by urbanization. The article contends that in pioneering new structures of literary attention, a number of antebellum urban writers showed their readers vast areas of life which had hitherto been invisible.

Keywords: antebellum writers; city; urban space; visual perception; Lydia Maria Child; George Lippard; Fanny Fern; urbanization; literary attention

Article.  8724 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Studies (19th Century) ; Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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