Chapter

The widow; or, the critical baroque

Brian Baker

in Iain Sinclair

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print November 2007 | ISBN: 9780719069048
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781700891 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7228/manchester/9780719069048.003.0004
The widow; or, the critical baroque

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This chapter considers the way Sinclair addressed the sense of ‘decline’ that is characteristic of British society. It looks at his use of the ‘savage comedy’, Gothic overtones, and apocalyptic satire in order to study the matter of Britain, which indicates his rejection of collectivist politics. It examines his ‘open-field narratives’ in Downriver and the evident tension between agency and witness. It reveals that Downriver serves as an angry critique of Margaret Thatcher's policies and an ugly caricature of the prime minister as ‘the Widow’. This chapter also reviews the wider implications of Sinclair's small-press publication activities in the period between Suicide Bridge and White Chappell, Scarlet Tracings.

Keywords: decline; British society; savage comedy; apocalyptic satire; Gothic overtones; collectivist politics; open-field narratives; Margaret Thatcher; small-press publication activities

Chapter.  9029 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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