“The City that Truly Counts” – the Meaningful Cityscape of Jim Crace’s Six

Petr Chalupský

Charles University, Czech Republic

Petr Chalupský is Associate Professor at the Department of English Language and Literature, Faculty of Education, Charles University, where he teaches courses in English Literature, Literary Studies and Literary Theory. His research and publication activities focus on contemporary British fiction, particularly on representations of space. He is the author of the monographs The Postmodern City of Dreadful Night: The Image of the City in the Works of Martin Amis and Ian McEwan (2009) and A Horror and a Beauty: The World of Peter Ackroyd’s London Novels (2016).


https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6759-0496



Abstract

Jim Crace’s ability to create both authentic and poetic geographic and topographic renderings has led critics to coin the term “Craceland” to denote these idiosyncratic settings that appear other and relatable at the same time. His narrative power lies in his ability to render places and spaces which, in spite of their wholly fictitious character, evoke a strong feeling of plausibility and familiarity. His milieux are never abstracted from the human element, and his stories examine the close link between his protagonists and the places they occupy or move through, thus emphasising the experiential and emotional dimension of space and place. Six (2003), his seventh novel, set in an unnamed imaginary present-day city, follows the fate of Lix Dern, a celebrated actor and a father of six children, in his life and career. Along with Arcadia (1992) and The Melody (2018), Six ranks among its author’s urban novels which explore the diverse aspects of the interrelatedness between modern cityscape and its inhabitants’ mental and physical existence. By using humanistic geography and phenomenological geocriticism as its theoretical points of departure, this paper attempts to analyse the roles the city assumes in conveying the novel’s principal thematic concerns, as well as to demonstrate how Six differs from Crace’s other two urban novels.

Keywords:

Jim Crace, Six, experience, humanistic geography, mapping narrative, phenomenological geocriticism

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Published
2024-06-06


Chalupský, P. (2024) “‘The City that Truly Counts’ – the Meaningful Cityscape of Jim Crace’s Six”, Crossroads. A Journal of English Studies, (44), pp. 4–20. Available at: https://czasopisma.filologia.uwb.edu.pl/index.php/c/article/view/2252 (Accessed: 16 July 2024).

Petr Chalupský 
Charles University, Czech Republic

Petr Chalupský is Associate Professor at the Department of English Language and Literature, Faculty of Education, Charles University, where he teaches courses in English Literature, Literary Studies and Literary Theory. His research and publication activities focus on contemporary British fiction, particularly on representations of space. He is the author of the monographs The Postmodern City of Dreadful Night: The Image of the City in the Works of Martin Amis and Ian McEwan (2009) and A Horror and a Beauty: The World of Peter Ackroyd’s London Novels (2016).

https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6759-0496