The Urban Jungle and Cities of Dreadful Night: Literary Journalism and the City

By Isabel Soares and Vanda Rosa.

Published by The Humanities Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In the late 19th century, journalists made a new discovery while venturing into the “terrae incognitae” of great urban centres: the derelict neighbourhoods of mighty imperial capitals such as London or affluent industrial towns such as Manchester. These were, however, not the usual impartial journalists, these were new journalists, precursors of the modern reporter and the literary journalist and they strove to bring to light inconvenient truths hidden underneath the urban tissue and not usually given attention by the press to a mostly bourgeois reading public. And, by doing so, New Journalism would forever change the face of mainstream/canonical journalism.
Pioneered by men among whom we find W. T. Stead, Charles Booth, Henry Mayhew and later Jack London, new journalists devoting attention to the urban space could also be found among the ranks of Portuguese journalists writing of London or other European cities. In this light, what we aim at demonstrating is that these Portuguese new journalists, whose names include those of Eça de Queirós, Ramalho Ortigão and Batalha Reis, were perceiving the urban space as one of human misery and, just like their international peers, were helping shape an imagological perception of the city as a jungle, a place of countless social problems which has endured up to the present and today’s literary journalism.

Keywords: Literary Journalism, Social Problems, Urban Images

International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 9, Issue 10, pp.41-48. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 737.377KB).

Dr. Isabel Soares

Assistant Professor, Centre for Public Administration and Policies, ISCSP, CAPP/ISCSP, Technical University Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal

Isabel Soares is Assistant Professor at ISCSP, Technical University Lisbon. She is also Research Fellow at CAPP (Centre for Public Administration and Policies). She was a founding member of IALJS (International Association for Literary Journalism Studies) of which she is currently Research Committee Chair. She has published extensively on literary journalism.

Vanda Rosa

Research Fellow, CAPP, Lisbon, Portugal

Vanda Rosa is a Ph.D student doing research on literary journalism and city images and a Fellow at CAPP.


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