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The works of contemporary British writers Iain Sinclair and Peter Ackroyd demonstrate an intense preoccupation with the spatial symbols and ruins of London’s East End, which to them stand not just for the broken pieces of a vanishing past but also as symptoms of an underlying force of mythological and cultural significance, a force that collapses contemporary ideology and resists consecutive attempts at control and order. Of these, the Hawksmoor churches built by the architect Nickolas Hawksmoor after the 1666 London fire, some already demolished and others standing dark and brooding with looming spires and shadowy recesses, take on a particular preeminence. Both writers view the churches as forming an invisible geometry of lines of power in the cartography of the city, calling forth occult energies that point to the deeper, though half-erased and repressed truth of London. Sinclair’s early poetry collection Lud Heat first toys with this idea, and Ackroyd’s bestselling novel Hawksmoor popularizes it and enables it to reach a wider public. This paper investigates the spatial and mythological symbolism of the Hawksmoor churches as reflected in the works of the two writers, arguing that this recurrent spatial motif holds the key to understanding an important strand of contemporary British literature where architecture, textuality and London’s haunting past loom large.

KEY WORDS: Iain Sinclair, Peter Ackroyd, Nicholas Hawksmoor, Lud Heat, Hawksmoor 

摘 要

當代英國作家伊恩·辛克萊和彼得·艾克若德的作品 中,呈現出某種對倫敦東區的空間象徵和廢墟的強烈執 著,將其視為不光是一個即將逝去的過去的破碎片段,更 是某種具有神秘和文化意義的內薀力量的徵像,這種力量 抗拒當今主流意識型態,也無懼於歷來不斷的整頓和秩序 的企圖。其中,由十八世紀建築師尼克拉斯·霍克斯莫在 1666 年倫敦大火後開始建造、歷經多年方才完工的系列倫 敦教堂,儘管有些已經破敗拆除、剩下的則是飽經蒼桑、 以頹黑又低沈之姿構成倫敦天際線的另一特色,但在這兩 位作家的作品中具有關鍵的重要性。兩位都認為此系列的 十八世紀教堂構成倫敦空間某種隱形的代表黑暗能量的幾 何圖形,召喚出被壓抑的神秘力量,也指向倫敦空間的真 正意義。這種想法首先在辛克萊早期的詩作選集 Lud Heat 中提出,而五年後艾克若德的暢銷小說《霍克斯莫》則將此 說法發揚光大、成為普羅大眾也日益熟悉的另一種倫敦傳 說。本文試圖討論兩位作家作品中霍克斯莫教堂的空間和 象徵意義,也指出唯有瞭解此重複出現的空間意象的意 義,方能瞭解當代英國文學中這一支以建築空間、文本和 倫敦的過去為中心圖騰的流派。

關鍵詞:伊恩·辛克萊、彼得·艾克若德、尼克拉斯·霍克 斯莫、Lud Heat、《霍克斯莫》