Reading the Global City: Crisis, Cognitive Mapping and the “Urban Sensorium” in Tom McCarthy’s Satin Island and Ben Lerner’s 10:04
“What is the role played by the aesthetics and politics of space,” asks Kanishka Goonewardena, “in producing and reproducing the durable disjunction between the consciousness of our urban everyday life […] and the now global structure of social relations that is itself ultimately responsible for producing the spaces of our lived-experience?” (55). Goonewardena’s account of the “urban sensorium” describes the mediatory, ideological role played by space in this “gap,” informing his adaptation of Jameson’s “cognitive mapping” as a hermeneutics of urban experience vis-à-vis totality. This article considers the mediation of these insights as critical aesthetic strategies in two global city novels written in the post-2008/11 recessionary period, Tom McCarthy’s Satin Island (2015) and Ben Lerner’s 10:04 (2014). The former thematizes the obfuscating ideological function of “depthless” space in the late neoliberal era, while the latter pursues an immanent cognitive mapping project predicated on the interpretation of everyday urban life.
"Reading the Global City: Crisis, Cognitive Mapping and the “Urban Sensorium” in Tom McCarthy’s Satin Island and Ben Lerner’s 10:04."
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