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Iain Sinclair$
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Brian Baker

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780719069048

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719069048.001.0001

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The widow; or, the critical baroque

The widow; or, the critical baroque

(p.80) 3 The widow; or, the critical baroque
Iain Sinclair

Brian Baker

Manchester University Press

This chapter considers the way Sinclair addressed the sense of ‘decline’ that is characteristic of British society. It looks at his use of the ‘savage comedy’, Gothic overtones, and apocalyptic satire in order to study the matter of Britain, which indicates his rejection of collectivist politics. It examines his ‘open-field narratives’ in Downriver and the evident tension between agency and witness. It reveals that Downriver serves as an angry critique of Margaret Thatcher's policies and an ugly caricature of the prime minister as ‘the Widow’. This chapter also reviews the wider implications of Sinclair's small-press publication activities in the period between Suicide Bridge and White Chappell, Scarlet Tracings.

Keywords:   decline, British society, savage comedy, apocalyptic satire, Gothic overtones, collectivist politics, open-field narratives, Margaret Thatcher, small-press publication activities

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