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Dirt Out of Place in Sweet Thames, The Great Stink and The Crimson Petal and the White

  • Saverio Tomaiuolo
Chapter

Abstract

Matthew Kneale’s Sweet Thames (1992), Clare Clark’s The Great Stink (2005) and Michel Faber’s The Crimson Petal and the White (2009) are three novels seemingly based upon a series of textual, cultural and sensorial oppositions: morality vs. immorality, respectability vs. criminality, health vs. illness, perfume vs. stink. Nevertheless, these texts call these antitheses into question by reflecting on the cultural construction of the notions of ‘dirt’ and ‘filth’ in light of the Victorian frame of mind or, rather, of its episteme (intended here according to Michel Foucault’s definition). At the centre of Sweet Thames, The Great Stink and The Crimson Petal and the White lies mid to late nineteenth-century London, the city of dreadful delight whose fight against filth was marked by ambiguities and paradoxes.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Saverio Tomaiuolo
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Cassino and Southern LazioCassinoItaly

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