Journal article Open Access
The article Cannibal Cities: Monstrous Urban Bodies in Contemporary Fantasy discusses the literalization of the metaphor of the body politic in contemporary urban fantasy. The body politic is one of the master tropes through which urban experience has been traditionally represented in literature, political discourse, and social studies. Urban fantasy transforms this metaphor into part of the fictional world of the text, thereby laying bare its cultural connotations, which are predominantly negative and dystopian. Thus a monstrous body is created, which is not that of an individual but rather of the city as a whole. The paper discusses three main registers of representing the monstrous urban body in fantasy: the dark city; the city-as-machine; and the city-as-organism. Each register is illustrated with a range of literary and cinematic examples.