Skip to main content
Tag

Elizabeth Knox

The City and the City

By Uncategorized

So, I’ve just finished reading China Miéville’s novel The city and the city – the first novel I’ve actually made it through in quite some time.

Courtesy of Wikipedia, here is the low-down on the dual cities that are the main character/s of the book:

The City & The City takes place in the cities of Besźel and Ul Qoma. These two cities actually occupy much of the same geographical space, but via the volition of their citizens (and the threat of the secret power known as Breach), they are perceived as two different cities. A denizen of one city must dutifully ‘unsee’ (that is, ignore, or fade into the background) the denizens, buildings, and events taking place in the other city — even if they are an inch away. This separation is emphasized by the style of clothing, architecture, gait, and the way denizens of each city generally carry themselves. Residents of the cities are taught from childhood to recognise things belonging to the other city without actually seeing them. Ignoring the separation, even by accident, is called “breaching” – a terrible crime by the citizens of the two cities, worse than murder. Read More