Public Space and Power: Edwin Morgan’s ‘The Starlings in George Square’ (1968) and Ernst Jandl’s ‘wien: heldenplatz’ (1966)

  • Nicola Thomas
Part of the Geocriticism and Spatial Literary Studies book series (GSLS)


Ideas of public space, adapted from the work of social geographers including David Harvey, frame a discussion of how public space is represented in Ernst Jandl’s poem ‘wien: heldenplatz’ [‘vienna: heldenplatz’] and Morgan’s ‘The Starlings in George Square’. Both poems model, through their experimental use of language, the polyvocality and polysemy which is a crucial feature of democratic public space, and represent the power struggles which take place there against the background of discourses of nation and national identity. In Morgan’s case, this includes gestures towards a queer remapping of urban public space.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicola Thomas
    • 1
  1. 1.St Hilda’s CollegeUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK

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