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Worlds Apart. Patrick McGrath’s Ghastly New York: The Perfect Decaying Cityscape for Restless Minds

Luna's fifth Call for Papers, Worlds Apart: Worldbuilding in Fantasy and Science Fiction is now in pre-order and will be released on Tuesday 27th of July. Here is a chance to discover the 14 brilliant papers you will find in the book in the order they appear.

Today, we would like to introduce you to Tatiana Fajardo, presenting the paper: "Patrick McGrath’s Ghastly New York: The Perfect Decaying Cityscape for Restless Minds"


This paper analyses the depiction of New York in Patrick McGrath’s Ghost Town: Tales of Manhattan Then and Now, a collection of three stories which illustrate critical periods in the history of the city: the American War of Independence and its aftermath in the first tale, “The Year of the Gibbet”; the mid-eighteen fifties and the Civil War in the story “Julius”; and, finally, the consequences of 9/11 in “Ground Zero”. With his dark prose, McGrath portrays characters haunted by several terrible events occurring in the metropolis, and thus this article will not only focus on the city itself, but also on McGrath’s worldbuilding, through the social, political and even artistic environments of the periods he presents. Similarities with early American Gothic pieces by the likes of Edgar Allan Poe and Washington Irving will emerge, and the analysis will explain the connections between literary works by other writers and McGrath’s tales, following Mikhail Bakhtin’s concepts of “monologism”, “dialogism”, “heteroglossia”, “answerability”, and “chronotope”. Freud’s concept of the “uncanny” and Julia Kristeva’s “abjection” will also be analysed.

Tatiana Fajardo is a Ph.D candidate at the University of the Basque Country researching Patrick McGrath’s Gothic fiction. She completed her MLitt in the Gothic Imagination at the University of Stirling (Scotland), writing her dissertation on the employment of art and science in Patrick McGrath’s novels. She began a blog in which she discusses her literary, cinematic and artistic interests in 2017. Passionate about Gothic literature, her blog post on Dracula’s ‘‘Bloofer Lady’’ was published by Sheffield University. Some of her essays have been translated into Swedish and published by Rickard Berghorn, both on his online Weird Webzine and in his printed books Studier I vart (2018) and Två fantasistycken (2018). These include her analyses of Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner (1982) and Ingmar Bergman’s Hour of the Wolf (1968). She presented her study of the employment of Romantic poets in the TV series Penny Dreadful (2014-2016) at the IGA conference in Manchester in August 2018. In 2019, her article ‘‘The Bloodlust of Elizabeth Báthory: From the Brothers Grimm to American Horror Story’’ was included in the book A Shadow Within: Evil in Fantasy and Science Fiction (Luna Press Publishing). In 2020, her article “Falling in Love with an Artificial Being: E. T. A Hoffmann’s The Sandman in relation to Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? and the Blade Runner film series” was included in Ties that Bind: Love in Fantasy and Science Fiction (Luna Press Publishing). Tatiana combines her work as a researcher with her job as an English teacher in Spain.

Worlds Apart: Worldbuilding in Fantasy and Science Fiction

is now in pre-order!


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