Extrapolation

Thriving in the Gap

Visual and Linguistic Meaning Unmaking in The City & The City

Extrapolation (2014), 55, (3), 349–367.

Abstract

This paper focuses on the use of sight as a means of resistance to an all-seeing authority, and the use of vision as a way of remaking one's system of signifying and one's ideology. Through the application of Foucault's theory about sight, power and the Panopticon, and through the application of picture theory, I will examine China Miéville's use of seeing as ideology making in The City & The City where citizenship, the social imaginary, signification, and ideology all depend on characters who unsee. Just as there are gaps in vision, so are there other interstitial places for characters to inhabit where full vision, and full meaning making, are possible.

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Kuehmichel, Shannon